Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than one that is not. Consistently having your HVAC system serviced can improve performance and help save you money in energy costs. Luckily, there’s even more you can do to boost your property’s energy efficiency. Here are some easy things you can do take to improve your Mankato area home. Close up any leaks around your windows and doors. Even tiny cracks can let heat or cool air escape your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping anywhere you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your AC and open the windows. When you wake up, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to keep the cooler air in and to stop heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is normally associated with keeping your home warm in the colder months, but it also helps you out in the warmer season. Heat is constantly working toward cooler locations—like your house. Sufficient insulation keeps heat from passing through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air proceeds easier through your home when your ducts are clear. That makes your air conditioner’s job simpler. Ensure your ducts are correctly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Correctly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency easy. You can automatically move your temperature when you’re away from home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will get back to normal when needed. 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. It might seem it will cool your home at a faster rate, but the time it takes to cool won’t be changed. You’ll just cost yourself more in energy. Turn your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help keep your cooling bill down, make sure the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures is as small as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% annually on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its normal setting for eight hours a day. Using a ceiling fan together with your air conditioner can let you raise your thermostat a little more. You can raise your setting by about 4°F without changing your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re placing lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances around your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run for too long because it senses heat from these appliances and thinks your home needs cooling. 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 Northern Comfort Inc for an evaluation. It might be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can reduce your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Northern Comfort Inc at 507-387-6596. Our team can help you think about solutions, energy-efficient equipment or schedule a regular maintenance appointment. You can also schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.