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4 Improvements That Help You to Save Energy

November 27, 2016

No matter the age of your Jacksonville, Florida, home, you can save energy, lower your utility bills, and even increase its resale value by adding the right improvements. Improving your HVAC system’s efficiency helps the environment and makes your family more comfortable. It also prevents inconvenient breakdowns and extends the life of your system. Installing a programmable thermostat, sealing leaky ductwork, adding insulation, and improving landscaping can all help you to save energy.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

You can set a programmable thermostat to lower or raise your home’s temperature at different times. That way, you can stay comfortable when you’re at home and save energy when you’re at work or asleep. To maximize comfort and energy efficiency, set your programmable thermostat to change settings about half an hour before you wake up or return home. Some programmable thermostats allow you to set a different temperature schedule for every day of the week and even when you are away on vacation. With others, you can set one schedule for weekdays and another for weekends.

Most modern programmable thermostats can help you to manage the humidity in your home. High humidity encourages mold growth and makes the air feel warmer, while low humidity causes your home to feel very cold and causes dry skin and respiratory problems. Some programmable thermostats will provide an automatic reminder when it’s time to change the air filter, and you can even control some models from a tablet, computer, or smartphone.

Seal Leaky Ductwork

Conditioned air often escapes through leaks in your ductwork, causing warm or cold areas in your home and forcing your HVAC system to work harder to keep your family comfortable. Leaks also prevent your system’s air filter from working efficiently and can allow dirt, dust, and other contaminants into the ductwork, which can lower your home’s indoor air quality.

You can check the ductwork in your attic or basement for holes, spaces between joints, dents, and gaps in insulation. However, most of the ductwork in homes is inside crawl spaces or behind walls. For a thorough inspection, contact a professional who can use special equipment like an infrared imaging system to find and fix leaks.

Add Insulation

The right amount of insulation can keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Add insulation in your attic and basement, especially in areas where the insulation is thinner or is damaged. You should remove and replace moldy insulation because mold can aggravate allergies and asthma. Use caulk to seal smaller gaps around electrical outlets, light switches, and windows. Weatherstripping underneath doors and windows can save even more energy and prevent uncomfortable drafts. Adding caulk or weatherstripping is simple, it’s inexpensive, and doesn’t take a lot of time.

Evaluate Your Landscaping

Finally, some simple improvements to your landscaping can help you save energy. Trees or shrubs can provide much-needed shade for your air conditioner and your home. You also can plant a hedge close to your home or grow decorative vines on the exterior walls for extra insulation and a more attractive garden. During fall and winter, trees shed their leaves, allowing more sunlight to warm your home.

An awning or fence near your HVAC unit will protect it from debris, like leaves, twigs, or grass clippings, which could cause a breakdown or lower its efficiency. Just make sure the system has two or three feet of space on all sides to allow good airflow and efficient operation. If possible, keep larger plants and trees that can provide shade for your home in the summer. Many shrubs and smaller trees grow quickly, and you can choose from several varieties.

Ocean State Air Conditioning & Heating is a family business with over 40 years of HVAC experience. We install, maintain, and repair equipment to help area residents save energy. Call us at (904) 574-5619 for excellent service from our experienced staff.

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