Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Regularly having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can elevate its performance and help save you money because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use considerably less energy than a system that is not. But what else should you do? Here are more manageable steps you can take to increase your Olathe home’s energy efficiency. Seal the leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping wherever you detect leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your indoor space warm during the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Ensure you have enough insulation to keep the heat from moving 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, ensure your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If your air ducts are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more critical 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 lower, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as little 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 typical 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 manually, 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 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 more money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances by your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than necessary 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 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 Polestar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for an assessment. 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 additional questions about how to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to schedule a regular maintenance appointment, call Polestar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at 913-432-3342 and our experts are ready to help. If it’s easier, schedule your appointment online with our online scheduler.