Those of us in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle (IL) can certainly say that life adjusts for a while during the Illinois winter. Our priorities quickly line up. When icy winds are whipping and frost is thick on the windows, our main concern is heat. Whether we’re at home or at work, things can get dicey if the furnace isn’t keeping us warm.
Once we have that taken care of, we have the next item right on its heels: energy costs. Your heating system runs regularly for months and sometimes all day long. Utility bills can gain extra weight. This becomes even more relevant with the expected increases in gas prices this winter.
Here at Beery Heating and Cooling, we’re a team of HVAC specialists with a love for serving the community. Away from the job, we’re also mindful consumers like you. We look to stay warm in winter and spend less doing so. As neighborhood professionals and like-minded friends, we want to help you do the same.
With that being said, let’s run through some ways you can save more while remaining comfortable in your heated home.
Saving on Heating: Thermostat
Lowering your thermostat by just one degree can sometimes save up to hundreds each year, and you might not notice a difference in comfort (e.g. from 72° to 71°).
You might also consider installing a smart thermostat, which comes with the built-in tools for conserving energy and saving on your bills. For example, a smart thermostat can detect when you’re not at home and set itself at the right temperature for when you return. This helps to cut costs by using energy only when it’s needed. It also can adjust itself according to when you’re awake and when you are sleeping.
Saving on Heating: Windows & Doors
Homes in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle lose a lot of heat through gaps and leaks in windows and doors during winter. There are a few simple things you can do to help keep the heat inside where it belongs.
First, you can be a sleuth that seeks out sneaky leaks. Light a match or a stick of incense and hold it in front of windows and doors while you’re inside. A horizontal flame or smoke trail will tip you off to any closures that are less than air-tight.
You can also detect air leaks by dampening the back of your hand and moving it around windows and door frames to feel for cold air that’s seeping in. These same techniques can help expose air leaks by sinks, toilets, attic hatches, ceiling fixtures and electrical outlets.
Some ways to keep more heat inside can include weatherproofing windows and doors, hanging thick curtains or thermal-lined drapes, applying clear-plastic film to windows and patio doors, and using a door sweep, “snake” or rolled-up towel to block drafts at the bottoms of doors.
Other simple steps can include locking windows, which further seals them, and closing the doors and vents to rooms you don’t use (although don’t let them get too cold, especially if water pipes are in the walls).
Also be aware of any windows that don’t fit their frame correctly – this can be a common cause of heat loss.
Saving on Heating: Attics & Basements
The top level of homes in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle can release a large amount of heat because of the stack effect – i.e. warm air rises while cool air sinks. Beyond making sure that air doesn’t escape through windows and doors, it’s a good idea to ensure proper insulation in the attic and under the roof.
Having correct insulation is like dressing your house in a winter jacket or sweater. If the attic insulation appears uneven, or you haven’t had it inspected in a while, you might consider having it looked at. Doing so could contribute to more warmth with less expense.
Basements and crawl spaces likewise can be top causes of escaping warm air. If the basement is finished, walls and windows should be insulated. If it isn’t, make sure doors and windows are closed off to the rest of the house without allowing the basement to get too cold.
Saving on Heating: Humidifiers
Another way to feel warm while saving more is to install a humidifier. Humid air feels warmer while dry air feels cooler, even if the room temperature is the same.
Having a humidifier in the rooms you use most often can help maintain your comfort while controlling heating bills. The indoor air–quality professionals at Beery can help you choose the right humidifier for your spaces.
Saving on Heating: Still More Ways
By now you can probably tell there’s several easy things you can do to stay warm and keep more funds in your home-expenses account. In addition to what we’ve discussed, you can also:
- check and change the furnace’s air filter
- wear warmer clothing in the house
- sleep with a warm blanket
- let sunlight into rooms through windows
- create heat from the stove while baking
- run ceiling fans clockwise in winter
It’s also always smart to have your heating system inspected, cleaned and tuned up before the heart of winter arrives. Seasonal maintenance ensures that your furnace is working as it should and identifies any developing issues before they can get bigger.
A well-maintained furnace runs better and more safely, requires less energy and helps save on heating bills.
Here for Answers and Service
Beery Heating and Cooling is a local HVAC resource for homeowners in Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield, Oswego, and Lisle (IL). We are trained and certified heating technicians who answer your questions about heating and perform the proper maintenance and repair for a furnace that serves you all winter long. If you would like to discuss your heating at home or schedule furnace maintenance, simply give us a call at (630) 585-6444.