Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Habitually having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can boost its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than one that is not. But what else should you do? We’ve got more manageable steps you can take to increase your Hattiesburg home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your house warm in the winter, but it also helps in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Ensure you have enough insulation to keep the heat from flowing 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 stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If your air ducts are leaking, you’re losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are located in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible throughout the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill cut down, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 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 utilize a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat setting by about 4°F without negatively disturbing your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted by hand, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simpler. 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 thinks 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 Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning for a review. It may 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’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 arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning at 601-268-3486 and our experts are ready to help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.