If you want to keep your Chicagoland, IL house nice and warm this fall but you don't want your utility bills to go out of control, this is the article for you. We're going to explore five of the cleverest ways to keep your house at a cozy warm temperature without breaking the bank.
Work Your Windows
As you may already know, much of the heat your home loses goes right out of the windows. However, if you're careful, you can prevent this. Beyond the obvious advice to keep your windows closed, there are several things you can do. First, invest in storm windows or double glazed panes. Next, add a weather seal or strip around the edges of the window; that area right around the window is likely to be drafty in all but the newest of homes. Finally, invest in thick, thermal curtains to keep the heat trapped inside your home.
Investing in curtains doesn't mean that those curtains should always be closed. In fact, during the day, it's usually best to keep the curtains open for any windows on the south and west sides of your home to let the sunlight in. Just be sure that you close the curtains again during the evening.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
In recent years, there have been numerous advances in programmable thermostats. You may be surprised how much the latest gadgets can do. For example, some thermostats let you quickly control humidity, temperature, and much more. You can get remote access to your thermostat via the internet no matter where you are. You can even control the temperature for multiple individual rooms, which allows you to funnel all of your heating energy into the places where you're actually using it.
Plus, a thermostat with remote access and a daily programmed temperature will help you heat your home up gradually before you arrive. This is the most energy-efficient way to go about heating your home after a long absence, and it also helps ensure your home stays comfortable.
Tap Into Coincidental Heat Sources
Your HVAC system isn't the only thing that influences the temperature in your home. For example, have you ever noticed that your kitchen can start to simmer after you've been cooking for a while? Or that using a computer in a room with a closed door can lead to a stuffy temperature? That's because there are dozens of little ways we generate heat in the home, and you can help cut your heating bills by tapping into these coincidental heat sources.
After using your oven, turn it off but open its door. After taking a bath, don't drain the water until it's cool. After using your computer, be sure to leave the door to your home office open. Be aware and take advantage of anything in your home that generates heat.
Wage War on the Drafts
We already discussed sealing the drafts in your windows, but this is just one of the many places in your home where drafts are possible. Some areas that deserve special attention include under your doors, around the edges of your ceiling vents, keyholes, mailbox slot, and dog door. You may even want to consider adding insulation to wall outlets and light switches, which can contribute a surprising amount to a home's draftiness.
It's also possible that the ducts in your heating system are leaking, which can destroy heating efficiency. Consider having your system inspected and either repairing or upgrading it if there are leaks.
Reinvigorate Your Furnace
When was the last time your furnace went through routine maintenance? Has it been cleaned, checked for electrical and fuel-line issues, and topped up with any necessary fluids? Has it been appropriately calibrated and lubricated? To maximize your furnace's efficiency, it's best to have a professional go through these and additional vital steps of regular maintenance.
After you've completed these basic steps, your home will stay comfortable and warm all through fall and winter. To find out more about how we can help you with these steps and improve your heating system, give us a call at 855-438-2663.