As any Chicago homeowner knows, when the winter months hit up here, it gets cold. Here in the north, we rely on our heating systems to keep our homes comfortable through the thick of winter – and that can translate into nasty heating bills. That’s why our experts here at North Town Home Services have provided a list of six tips to keep your heating system working efficiently (and to keep your bills as low as possible) this winter!
Energy-Efficient Heating Tips for Chicago Homeowners
Schedule an Energy Audit for Your Ductwork
According to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program, a typical home loses between 20 and 30 percent of the air moving through its ducts to leaks and gaps in the ducts. That’s quite a lot of heat to be losing—and where you’re leaking heat, you’re losing both efficiency and money. A certified technician has the tools and the knowledge to find any air leaks in your ducts—and to properly seal them once they’ve been found—so calling for an audit on your heating system is almost a surefire way to improve your system’s efficiency.
Change Air Filters Regularly
If we’re talking energy efficiency (and we are), then you can’t go wrong with checking your air filters. A dirty air filter is guaranteed to cause trouble with your HVAC system, and a loss of efficiency is just one of the problems you might see if your air filter is overdue for replacement. Be sure to check your system’s air filters at least once a month; if they look dirty, change them out!
Check Heat Vents For Obstructions
When heating systems are installed, the manufacturers are taking your home’s size and air circulation into consideration as they install ducts and heat vents. Closing or blocking these vents builds up pressure in your system’s ductwork, and redirects more air to the open vents. In short, you’re better off keeping your vents open and unobstructed (don’t cover them with furniture or rugs).
Weatherproof Your Home
This winter, make sure that the weather-stripping on your windows and doors isn’t torn or worn-down. If it is, replace it! If you notice any drafts around window frames and doors, caulk them in. Consider covering your windows and glass doors with plastic film for the frosty winter months. Finally, check around electrical switches, outlets, and anywhere pipes or wires enter your walls. You’ll want to fill in gaps around these places with caulk or foam sealant. Weatherproofing your home keeps your home’s ‘envelope’ nice and secure, meaning your heating system doesn’t have to work as long or hard to keep it heated.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
This might sound like an odd one, but stats don’t lie, and numerous sources have shown that switching to a programmable thermostat will save you money. A programmable thermostat can automatically turn down your home temperature when you are at work, out of the house, or asleep—and can cut your heating bill by more than 10 percent in some cases! A programmable thermostat isn’t even a pricey investment—but it is one that will pay off.
Seek HVAC Maintenance Annually
Of course, the best way to keep your heating system running smoothly and efficiently is to have a professional HVAC technician perform maintenance on it annually. If you haven’t already had someone in to check out your heating system this year, be sure to contact one of your customer service representatives at North Town Home Services as soon as possible!
Chicagoland’s Best Choice for Heating & Cooling Services
Since 1927, North Town Home Services has been providing homes around the Chicagoland area with the most reliable HVAC repairs available. We are known for our legendary customer service, and we strive to give each and every one of our customers a one-of-a-kind experience.
We never hire subcontractors—our staff is made up of only highly-trained, full-time technicians. Our trucks are fully stocked with repair parts and equipment to ensure we can repair your HVAC system on our first visit.