Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use fewer resources than one that is not. Regularly having your HVAC system serviced can improve efficiency and help save you money in utility costs. Luckily, there’s even more you can do to better your property’s energy efficiency. Here are some simple actions you can take take to improve your Cedar Rapids home. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Even tiny gaps can let heat or cool air escape your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping anywhere you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler when the sun goes down, turn off your your HVAC system and open the windows. After you get up in the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to keep the cooler air in and to avoid heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is normally connected to keeping your home warm in the cold season, but it also helps you out in the summer. Heat is constantly looking for cooler places—like your rooms. Sufficient insulation prevents heat from moving through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air moves easier through your home when your ducts are open. That makes your air conditioner’s job simpler. Make sure your ducts are correctly 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 crucial 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 pretty much effortless. You can automatically change 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 faster, but the time it takes to cool won’t be affected. You’ll just cost yourself more in energy. Make 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 close as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% each year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its average setting for eight hours a day. Using a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner can let you raise your thermostat a little more. You can raise your setting by about 4°F without impacting your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re placing lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances close to your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run for too long 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 Ilten's Incorporated for an check up. 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 Ilten's Incorporated at 319-208-3295. Our pros 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.