Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s taken care of can use fewer resources than one that is not. Routinely having your HVAC system serviced can improve productivity and help save you money in electric costs. Fortunately, there’s even more you can do to better your property’s energy efficiency. Here are some painless actions you can take take to improve your Beaverton home. Close up any leaks around your windows and doors. Even small cracks can let heat or cool air disappear from your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping every place you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler when the sun goes down, turn off your air conditioning and open the windows. In the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to catch the cooler air and to avoid heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is usually equated with keeping your home comfortable in the cold season, but it also helps you out in the warmer months. Heat is constantly seeking cooler spaces—like your house. Sufficient insulation stops 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 properly sealed to block 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 room. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency easy. You can automatically adjust your temperature when you’re not at home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will go 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. You might feel like it will cool your home at a faster rate, but the time it takes to cool won’t be affected. You’ll only cost yourself more in energy. Set 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 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 negatively affecting your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re putting lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances around your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run longer than needed 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 Garoken Energy Co. Inc. for an evaluation. It might 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’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Garoken Energy Co. Inc. at 503-374-1934. 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.