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 productivity and help save you money in energy costs. Fortunately, there’s even more you can do to increase your property’s energy efficiency. Here are some simple things you can do take to improve your Rapid City home. Secure any leaks around your windows and doors. Even tiny gaps can let heat or cool air escape your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping wherever you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler after dark, turn off your your HVAC system and open the windows. When you wake up, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to keep the cooler air in and to prevent heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is usually equated with keeping your home cozy in the cold season, but it also helps you out in the summer. Heat is constantly seeking cooler places—like your rooms. Sufficient insulation prevents heat from going 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. Make sure your ducts are accurately sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more crucial if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned space. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency pretty much effortless. You can automatically change your temperature when you’re out and about or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will return to normal when needed. If you choose not to use a programmable thermostat, avoid setting your thermostat at a chillier setting when you turn on your air conditioner. You might think it will cool your home at a faster rate, but the time it takes to cool won’t be impacted. You’ll only cost yourself more in energy. Make 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 little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% each year 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 in partnership 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 close to your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run for an extended time 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 Street Heating and Cooling for an assessment. It might 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’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Street Heating and Cooling at 605-206-3915. 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.