Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Routinely having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up could boost its performance and help reduce your costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than one that is not. But what else can you do? We have more simple steps you can do to revamp your Portland Metro home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your house 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 sufficient 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 smoother. While you’re at it, make sure your ducts are properly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, that means 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 smaller, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as low as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save nearly 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its usual setting for 8 hours a day. If you use 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 much easier. You can automatically regulate 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 come home or wake up. If you choose 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 additional money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances close to your thermostat. This practice can make 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 meeting with your home-comfort needs, call Central Air Inc for an evaluation. 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 enhance your home’s energy efficiency, think it could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Central Air Inc at 503-656-1908 and our experts can help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.