As the first day of winter quickly approaches, many Chicagoans are raising the temperature on their thermostats. That means that their heating bills are rising too. But there are solutions to stay warm and not break the bank this holiday season. Here are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your energy costs while remaining cozy at home. Let’s explore how to cut costs on heating bills this holiday season.
1. Consider a Programmable Thermostat:
The core of your HVAC system is your thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat can be an effective way to save money on your energy costs by allowing you to pre-set temperatures for different times of day. This means that you will not waste energy. When you’re away from home, you can control the temperature so you can cut costs on your heating bill. It can help save 10% on your energy bill. Luckily, Service Now Chatham Comfort Controls can install a digital thermostat in your home.
A digital thermostat can help in so many degrees. Being away from home and then realizing that you have forgotten about the kicking heat can be a bother. But with a digital thermostat, you can access it remotely and alter its function. Additionally, you can set a program for the thermostat to kick on and off.
For optimal savings, set your thermostat a few degrees lower than what you’re accustomed to during the day, and set it a few degrees lower while you’re sleeping at night.
2. Invest in Insulation:
Making sure that your home is properly insulated is one of the best things you can do to lower your heating bill. Poor insulation will allow cold air to enter your home and warm air to escape, resulting in higher energy costs as your furnace works overtime trying to keep up with the temperature indoors. Replace old insulation or add additional layers where needed. Make sure that all cracks and gaps around doors, windows, and other openings are sealed with caulk or weather-stripping. This may not be feasible if you are renting, or do not own your home. Have no fear! There are other ways how you can cut costs on your heating bill.
3. Check for Air Leaks:
As much as 25% of all heat loss comes from air leaks, so check around windows, doors, baseboards, and other places where air might be escaping from your home. Sealing up these cracks with weather stripping or caulk will help keep the heat inside where it belongs — and keep more money in your pocket.
4. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans:
Ceiling fans are great for circulating air throughout a room, but did you know that running them counterclockwise will actually push hot air down into the room? By reversing its direction during winter months, you can get even more out of this energy-saving tip!
5. Use Area Rugs:
Bare floors are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to losing heat in Chicago homes because cold floors draw heat away from people quickly. Adding area rugs or carpets throughout a room will help keep things warmer by providing an extra barrier against chilly floors.
6. Wear More Layers:
You don’t have to crank up your thermostat if you’re feeling chilled; simply put on another layer instead! Wearing sweaters or slippers inside will help keep you warm without costing extra energy dollars.
7. Utilize Space Heaters:
Space heaters are great for targeted warmth; rather than heating an entire house, just turn on a space heater for one particular area when needed — such as a bedroom before bedtime or just after waking up — then remember to turn it off.
8. Inspect or Replace Your HVAC System:
Check Your Furnace Filters Regularly:
Another way how to cut costs on heating bills is to service your HVAC system. Dirty furnace filters reduce airflow and strain your HVAC system leading to higher energy costs over time. To avoid this problem, make sure you check and change your furnace filters every month, especially during peak use periods, which would mean this coming winter. If the filters look dirty or clogged, change them right away! It’s also important to have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system each year in order to ensure that it’s running efficiently and safely throughout the winter months. It’s better and cost-effective to maintain proper care of your furnace rather than replacing it.
Repair or Replace Your Furnace
Of course, if the time has come to replace your furnace, Chatham Comfort Controls can help! It may seem counter-intuitive by purchasing a new furnace, but you will save in the long run. An improperly installed or poorly running furnace can lead to larger energy bills compared to a healthily running furnace. We also provide local and affordable furnace installations.
If well taken care of, furnaces can last on average about 15-20 years. If your furnace is experiencing any of the following issues, it may be time to replace it.
- Strange Noises
- Strong, foul odors
- Blowers Running Constantly
- Little Amount of Heat Production
- An Increase in Gas Usage
A breakdown in your heating system can be a major setback. These are some telltale signs that the system isn’t running right. These could be symptoms of pilot flame problems or that the unit is turning on and off too often. In any case, an experienced HVAC technician should always be called for professional inspection and repairs if necessary.
Service Now! Chatham Comfort Control is available 24 hours for heating emergencies. You can trust us to help with your heating issues.
Boiler Maintenance Check-Up
Typically homes with boilers are much more energy efficient than homes heated by furnaces. Boilers don’t generate as much waste, which leads to lower energy usage throughout the season. Additionally, boilers typically use less electricity than standard air furnace systems, making them more cost-effective. While you may already be saving on your heating system, it is still important to get annual check ups and inspections. These checks can fix any minor issues with your boiler today, so it can last for years to come.
Here are some signs that your boiler is asking for an inspection.
- Weird Sounds – Similar to a furnace, when it sounds funny, that is for a reason. It is not properly functioning. This can mean that there are loose parts or the pump is malfunctioning. If caught early, this is an easy fix for us at Service Now! Chatham Comfort Controls!
- Defective Pilot Light – Older boilers are prone to issues like the flame going off and on or turning to yellow or orange, some also can flare up before being extinguished. This can mean that the tube sensor controlling gas flow has an issue which could actually turn into a hazardous situation. Don’t ignore this warning sign. Book an appointment now to have this issue inspected and fixed.
- Leaks – Any water around your boiler can mean a broken valve. If left unchecked, this can lead to water damage in your home.
- Increased Gas Consumption – First off, this will create excessive energy bills. This generally means that your boiler is a little older.The longer you wait to repair it, the higher cost it’ll be in the long run.
A well-maintained boiler can last around 15 years. It’s better to take care of your boiler now in increments than having to purchase a new boiler. Take preventative measures and schedule an inspection today!
Trust the Experts at Service Now Chatham Comfort Controls!
Staying warm doesn’t mean going broke this winter in Chicago — not if you use these simple tips! There are plenty of ways homeowners and renters alike can save on their heating bills without sacrificing comfort during cold weather months. The most important thing is to keep up with your HVAC system. As long as you treat it well with regular, annual maintenance, it’ll treat you well, working properly for years.