Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 Regularly having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up may improve its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use a great deal less energy than a system that is not. But what else should you do? We’ve got more easy steps you can take to improve your Laguna Niguel home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you detect leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your indoor space warm during the winter, but it also helps in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Make sure you have enough insulation to keep the heat from moving 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, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to avoid air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more critical if they are situated 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 cut down, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as low as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 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 impacting your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted by hand, 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 get 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 more 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 necessary 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 prevent heat gain through the windows. Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not matching with your home-comfort needs, call Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating for an evaluation. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’ve got some questions about how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating at 949-525-9119 and our experts can help.