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 can boost its performance and help save you money because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use considerably less energy than one that is not. But what else can you do? We have more manageable steps you can take to increase your East Hanover home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you detect leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your house 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. Be sure you have adequate 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 simpler. While you’re at it, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If the ducts are leaking, 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 throughout the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill cut down, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as small 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 normal setting for 8 hours a day. If you turn on 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 much easier. 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 additional money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances by your thermostat. This practice can force your air conditioner to run longer than needed because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and determines 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 matching with your home-comfort needs, call Effective Service Group, LLC for a review. 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 increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it might be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Effective Service Group, LLC at 973-884-0065 and our experts can help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online utilizing our online scheduler.