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Supplemental Furnace Equipment Every Illinois Homeowner Should Know About

If there's one thing that Chicago area residents know, and that the beginning of 2014 hammered home, it's that winters here in the Midwest can be brutally cold. But modern technology keeps our homes toasty warm at ever-decreasing energy costs, thanks to advances in furnace efficiency.

While many homeowners settle for keeping their home at a comfortable temperature, managing the winter cold can go far beyond that. If you want to take full advantage of heating ingenuity during the cold months, consider these types of supplemental furnace equipment that can take your home comfort and energy savings to the next level:

Programmable Thermostats

When you have a schedule that keeps you out of the house for long periods each day, such as normal working or school hours, it doesn't make sense to keep the furnace running at full blast when no one's around to enjoy the heat. At the same time, coming home to a 50 degree house is no fun either.

A programmable thermostat is a piece of supplemental furnace equipment that regulates your home's temperature on a set schedule, allowing you to cut back on the heating during certain homeowner-set periods and turn up the heat during others. Once set, the thermostat will automatically take care of the temperature adjustments, leaving your home more comfortable without any additional action on your part.

Whole-House Humidifiers

The humidity level in your home influences a lot of things: how well the indoor air holds heat, the likelihood of mold and bacterial growth, and even how well flu viruses survive and transmit. Whole-house humidifiers use the air circulation system that's part of a central furnace installation to keep your entire home at a balanced humidity point, giving you optimal home comfort during the winter, when indoor air tends to get severely dry.

Zoning Systems

Every house has rooms with different heating and cooling needs. For one thing, heat rises, meaning that upper-level rooms are often warmer than ground-level or finished basement rooms. For another, rooms with northern-facing walls and windows experience more solar heat gain in winter, while southern-facing walls get the heat gain in summer. Trees and neighboring buildings can cast cooling shadows on certain rooms throughout the day. 

And even if homes could be heated to a perfectly consistent temperature through every room, this probably doesn't accurately reflect how you want your home heated. For example, if you have guests over during the winter holidays, you might want to keep the guest room cozy and warm while dialing back the heat to the kitchen, where cooking activities provide non-furnace warmth.

One piece of supplemental furnace equipment – or rather, a system of thermostats, sensors and dampers called a zoning system – offers an elegant solution for this quandary. By diving the house into "zones," each of which can be heated to a different temperature, you can match the warmth of various rooms to the preferences of their occupants.

Filters and Air Cleaners

Winter is a time when most people want to stay indoors and not let too much fresh (frigid) air in. But air trapped inside a well-sealed home can easily grow stale – which is where filters and air cleaners come in. While there's a filter installed in your home HVAC system by default, supplemental air-cleaning equipment or filters can offer an additional boost to your home's air quality, helping to remove dust, pet dander, mold spores and airborne bacteria from the air you breath.

Other forms of air cleaners, such as ultraviolet lights that can sterilize airborne mold and fungus spores as well as provide an effective defense against circulating bacteria and viruses, can be an attractive upgrade for homeowners who find themselves suffering through flu season – or suffering more when the spring melts begin, and mold and allergies come to play!

Learn More

To learn more about what supplemental furnace equipment matches your needs as a Chicago area homeowner, don't hesitate to visit us at We're happy to help you keep warm and comfortable this winter, and for many winters to come.

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