Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s well-managed can use lower energy amounts than one that is not. Consistently having your HVAC system serviced can improve performance and help save you money in utility costs. Fortunately, there’s even more you can do to better your house’s energy efficiency. Here are some easy actions you can take take to improve your Pella home. Close up any leaks around your windows and doors. Even miniscule cracks can let heat or cool air escape your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping anywhere you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your air conditioning and open the windows. After you get up in the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to trap the cooler air and to prevent heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is normally associated with keeping your home cozy in the colder months, but it also helps you out in the warmer season. Heat is constantly seeking cooler locations—like your home. Sufficient insulation keeps heat from going through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air proceeds easier through your home when your ducts are uncluttered. That makes your air conditioner’s job less complicated. Make sure your ducts are properly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Tightly sealing and insulating ducts is even more vital 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 simple. You can automatically move 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 lower-than-usual setting when you turn on your air conditioner. You might think it will cool your home quicker, 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% 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 changing your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re putting 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 Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating for an check up. 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’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating at 641-628-3621. 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.