If you live near Crystal Lake, you know how necessary heat is in the winter. Residents of Lake in the Hills and Algonquin know that, in the cold season, highs hover only a little above freezing. All that heat your furnace is producing isn’t cheap, either! Here are some tips for keeping the warmth in and that utility bill low.
1. Seal Your Windows and Doors
Air leaking in through gaps around your windows and doors is detrimental to energy efficiency. A drafty home means your furnace has to put in more effort to maintain the temperature you want. More effort means more energy, and more energy means more money out of your pocket! Regularly inspect your weather stripping to ensure it’s in good shape and replace it if it’s ripped or cracked. If you notice any odd gaps around your windows or doors, a little bit of silicone caulk can help seal them up nicely. Also, consider adding shrink wrap to your windows for an added layer of protection. Sealing up your home is a quick and cheap way to make your heating system more efficient.
2. Turn Down Your Heat When You’re Out of the House
You may have heard that it costs more to lower your thermostat while you’re away from the house because your system works harder to get the temperature back up when you get home. However, studies show this is not true for modern systems. In fact, lowering your system 10 to 15 degrees while you’re at work can result in as much as 15% savings per year. Even lowering by as little as three degrees can cause noticeable reductions in your monthly bill. Incorporate turning down the thermostat into your daily routine to start saving today!
3. Insulate Your Attic
A lot of people put off insulating their attics because of the frontend cost involved. However, installing attic insulation is an investment that will save you a lot of money in the future. As they say, money saved is money earned. Sealing your attic with insulation keeps all the heat in your living space that would typically rise into the attic and through the roof. The average cost for insulating an attic is around $1,300, but the long-term savings will well surpass that. Plus, insulating your attic increases your home’s resell value, further adding to its value as an investment.
4. Use Solar Panels
Solar panels are a significant investment up-front. Looking to make your home self-sufficient energy-wise will cost around ten thousand dollars, minimum. But, if you have the funds, it is possibly the best investment you can make into your home in terms of efficiency. Not only are they great for the environment, but they can also cover up to 100% of your heating and HVAC costs. Plus, the federal government currently offers tax incentives to encourage people to convert to solar power. The cost of installing solar panels is a large pill to swallow, but the long-term benefits are phenomenal!
5. Put in a Storm Door
Storm doors act as natural buffers against the elements. Even if you have energy-efficient doors, a storm door can help you reduce your heating costs. Manufacturers often equip storm doors with specialized, low-emission glass or coatings that can reduce heat loss by up to 50% more than regular glass. Storm doors also protect your exterior doors from environmental damage. Storm doors aren’t too bad price-wise, either. Most have price tags under $100!
6. Get a Yearly Inspection
The value of having an expert check your furnace and HVAC systems regularly cannot be understated. Professional HVAC technicians, like the team at Absolute Comfort in Crystal Lake, can identify issues with your systems to help prevent costly repairs and tell you if your units are running less than optimally. Plus, their checkups typically include cleanings and the fixing of small problems. Having it checked can make you aware of problems and inefficiencies you may otherwise have not noticed until it was too late.
7. Tune-Up Your System
If you identify an active issue with your heating system, you may consider hiring a professional to tune-up your furnace. This tune-up will solve any simple problems with underlying maintenance issues, clogs, or ignition. They’ll check parts of the system you likely don’t even know exist. A tune-up will not only keep your system in good working condition, but it will also help it run optimally. After some basic maintenance and TLC, homeowners will see some decent savings on their heating bill.
Heating your home isn’t the cheapest proposition, but there are plenty of ways you can help alleviate the cost. Some are as simple as cleaning your systems. Others are hefty investments that will take some time to pay off.
If you decide you want to make your heating system more efficient, the professional HVAC technicians at Absolute Comfort are here to help. Talk to one of our experts to find out how you can make your home more efficient today!