Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Regularly having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can improve its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use considerably less energy than one that is not. But what else should you do? We have more manageable steps you can do to revamp your Colorado Springs home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping wherever you detect leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your indoor space warm during the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have adequate insulation to keep the heat from shifting through your attic and walls and decreasing your home comfort. Have your ducts cleaned. Clean ducts make it easier for air to flow through your home, which makes your air conditioner’s job simpler. While you’re at it, ensure your ducts are properly sealed to avoid air leaks and insulate them if needed. If the ducts are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more necessary if they are placed in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill lower, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as small as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save nearly 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its usual setting for 8 hours a day. If you utilize a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat setting by about 4°F without negatively affecting your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted physically, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency so easy. You can automatically modify your temperature when you’re away from home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will return to normal before you arrive home or wake up. If you opt not to use a programmable thermostat, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder-than-usual setting when you turn on your air conditioner. Your house won’t cool down any faster and will only cost you extra money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances close to your thermostat. This practice can force your air conditioner to run longer than required because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and assumes your home needs cooled. [Use|Utilize|Take advantage of]54] your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your AC and open the windows. Shut the windows and your curtains or blinds in the morning to trap the cooler air and to hinder heat gain through the windows. Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping up with your home-comfort needs, call Mitchell Heating for an assessment. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can lower your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’ve got some questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it might be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to schedule a regular maintenance appointment, call Mitchell Heating at 719-596-6677 and our experts can help. If it’s easier, schedule your appointment online with our online scheduler.