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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winters are very harsh in Chicago, IL, and the surrounding areas, so heating bills are high. You can save money and help the environment by making your home more efficient, which reduces heating and other expenses. These five changes will make your home more energy efficient.

1. New Insulation

Insulation keeps warm or cool air from escaping from your home. However, it can become compacted over time and lose its effectiveness. Bad weather and pests can also cause gaps. Mold and mildew often grow in old insulation, especially near gaps where moisture can enter. Replace it with more efficient spray foam, cellulose, or gypsum.

Spray foam insulation expands to fill small cracks and crevices, preventing heat loss. It doesn't settle over time like many other types of insulation, and it's not vulnerable to moisture or damage from pests. Recycled cellulose fiber contains recycled newspapers and other paper products, and it usually comes in rolls. Professionals can also spray it into attics with a high pressure machine. Gypsum is a fertilizer as well as an insulator. Drywall, also called gypsum board, is a popular cover for wall insulation. Gypsum pellets are also available.

If your home has no wall insulation, spraying new insulation will increase your comfort and save energy. Replacing insulation in the attic also helps. With new insulation, your heating or air conditioning system won't have to work as hard.

2. Improved Windows

Even the best wall and attic insulation is almost useless if you have old, leaky windows. You can replace them with models that are more efficient or add weather stripping and storm windows. Replace aluminum window frames with wood, fiberglass, or vinyl frames for better insulation. The most energy efficient windows have more than one pane of glass. The space between the panes has an insulating gas like argon. Windows that don't open have the best seals, but they can't let a nice breeze into your home in summer. Hinged windows are the next most efficient.

3. A Tankless Water Heater

Conventional water heaters have an insulated storage tank, and when the water temperature drops, the water heater turns on automatically. This means that homeowners have to run water heaters even when they're not home. Tankless water heaters only work when needed, conserving energy. They're also more durable than conventional water heaters.

4. A Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can make heating and air conditioning systems much more efficient. You can set it to raise or lower the temperature of your home when you're away or asleep, then bring it back to your preferred temperature before you wake up or come home. You can even control some models from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you have a large home or a house with more than one story, choose a programmable thermostat with multiple zones, also called a zoning system. That way, you can concentrate heating or cooling only in the areas you choose.

5. A New Heating and Cooling System

If your heater or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, the energy savings you'll get from a newer model will eventually pay for the cost of a replacement. Keeping the same type of system is usually less expensive, but it's not the most economical or efficient long-term choice. Ductless systems are much easier to install than central heating systems with air ducts in the walls. They have a small outdoor unit and one or more indoor units, and they only need mounting and access to electricity.

At Comfort24-7, all our providers are factory authorized dealers for Carrier and Bryant, two of the most popular HVAC brands. We offer skilled service that comes with a money back guarantee, competitive prices, and a wide choice of quality products and services. Call us at (855) GET-COMFY anytime.

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