Routinely having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can improve its performance and help save you money because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use a great deal less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else could you do? We have more easy steps you can take to improve your Cedar Rapids home’s energy efficiency.
- Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping wherever you notice leaks.
- Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your house warm during the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is constantly seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have adequate insulation to keep the heat from flowing 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 easier.
- While you’re at it, make sure your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, you’re losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more critical if they are located 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 smaller, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as small as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its typical setting for 8 hours a day. If you use a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat setting by about 4°F without negatively affecting your comfort.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted by hand, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simpler. 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 arrive home or wake up.
- 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. 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 necessary because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and thinks 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 Ilten's Incorporated for an assessment. 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 could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Ilten's Incorporated at 319-208-3295 and our experts will help.