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 could elevate its performance and help save you money because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use a great deal less energy than one that is not. But what else should you do? We’ve got more easy steps you can take to improve your Cedar Rapids home’s energy efficiency. Seal the leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping at the locations you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your indoor space warm throughout the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is constantly seeking cooler places—like your home. Make sure you have sufficient 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, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they 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 during the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill smaller, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as little 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 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 by hand, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simpler. You can automatically modify 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 decide 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 near your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than required 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 evaluation. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can reduce 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 arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Ilten's Incorporated at 319-363-0283 and our experts will help. If it’s easier, schedule your appointment online utilizing our online scheduler.