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Home Heating & Cooling Efficiency Hacks

HVAC Systems in Chicago - Energy Efficiency Hacks

If the idea of a HVAC system that operates at peak performance and wastes as little energy as possible sounds like a dream come true, then there are some excellent hacks out there that can turn your dream into a reality.

HVAC systems are important for keeping your home warm in colder months and cool in hotter months, but they can be incredibly expensive to operate if they’re not working efficiently.

Heating & Cooling Efficiency

To boost the performance of your heating & cooling system, and save you money on your bills, here are the top hacks that you need to improve your HVAC system:

1. Prevent Air Leaks by Insulating Your Duct Work

Insulating the exposed duct work in your home is one of the easiest ways to boost HVAC efficiency and save money. You can easily insulate the duct work with duct-sealing tape, making sure to seal all duct joints and the ducts in unconditioned spaces. To ensure the seal is as efficient as possible, it’s best to get a professional to assess the insulation during your next HVAC maintenance check in Westmont IL.

2. Give Your Thermostat Room to Breathe (and Monitor the Temperature Correctly)

If your thermostat is located close to any appliances that produce heat, then it could be costing you more money to cool your home and preventing the HVAC system from heating your home effectively.

Moving lights and other heat-generating appliances away from the thermostat will make sure that it’s giving an accurate reading at all times, and not cooling your home for longer than necessary.

3. Switch to a Smart Thermostat for Unparalleled Home Comfort

Thermostat technology has come a long way in recent years, so if you’re trying to cut your energy costs and you have an older thermostat installed, it could be time to get it replaced.

Modern thermostats are more sensitive to temperature changes and have advanced features that give you greater control over the temperature in your home.

4. Replace the Filter in Your Furnace

Something as simple as changing the filter in your furnace can have an amazing effect on the efficiency of your HVAC system.

Replacing the filter once every few months (or even monthly) will make sure that the furnace is not working any harder than necessary to pull air. This hack will not only increase HVAC efficiency, but also increase the lifespan of your furnace.

6. Keep Your Water Heater Warm

Water heaters can be very prone to energy loss if they aren’t maintained properly. You can tell straight away if you’re leaking energy from your water heater as it’ll be slightly warm when you touch it.

Most water heaters can easily be insulated with a blanket or sheet, which will increase energy efficiency and reduce energy expenditure. However, it’s important to consult a HVAC expert before insulating your water heater to make sure that the DIY insulation is safe.

7. Clean Your Vents and Get Rid of Any Debris Around Your Condenser Unit

Dirty or blocked vents can stop your HVAC system from heating or cooling your rooms as efficiently, costing you much more money. Using a vacuum to clean the vents is one of the easiest ways to create optimum air flow throughout your home. It’s also important to move any furniture away from the vents to allow the air to enter the room and circulate properly.

Just as it’s important to keep your indoor vents free of obstruction, it’s also important to make sure that there’s nothing blocking the outdoor condenser. A clean condenser that’s free of debris will work much more efficiently and save you money.

7. Reduce the Pressure on Your HVAC System and Optimize Your Home Interior

There are lots of small changes that you can make around the house that, whilst not directly related to your HVAC, will help you to reduce your home’s reliance on heating and cooling. To boost energy efficiency, you can:

  • Open your curtains during the day to let in heat
  • Use window film to reduce heat transfer in the summer
  • Invest in low heat-output LED lights
  • Keep your home ventilated in the winter with screen doors
  • Improve ventilation in the attic
  • Seal doors and windows to prevent drafts
  • Install a ceiling fan that blows air downwards
  • Close the doors to rooms that you’re not using

You can also make some changes to the exterior of your property to reduce pressure on your HVAC system and keep your home at the perfect temperature, such as creating natural shade with plants and trees and making sure there’s shade around your condenser.

8. Optimize Your Heating & Cooling in Westmont, IL with Regular HVAC Maintenance

The best way to guarantee that your HVAC is operating at peak performance is to schedule regular maintenance from a professional HVAC inspector and installer.

Professional cooling and heating system services in Chicagoland will make sure that your HVAC is in excellent condition, and always operating cost-effectively and efficiently throughout the year.

During a regular inspection, your local HVAC expert will check that the ductwork is in good condition and evaluate the overall condition and performance of the system. If something is amiss with the system, that could be causing it to operate inefficiently, then it’ll be identified during the inspection.

Just a little regular maintenance and adjustments each season can go a very long way to keeping your home perfectly warm in the winter and refreshingly cool in the summer.By catching small problems before they escalate into much bigger issues, not only will you restore your HVAC back to perfect condition, but you’ll save a considerable sum on repairs.

By enlisting the help of maintenance and inspection HVAC services in Westmont IL and getting creative with your HVAC hacks, you can stay on top of your system’s heating & cooling performance.

 

Come rain or shine, if your HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible, you can look forward to a home that maintains the best temperature for optimum home comfort – without costing you a fortune!

Furnaces Vs Boilers: What’s the Best Heating System Option?

High-Efficiency Heating System in Illinois

A modern, high-efficiency heating system in Illinois will do wonders for your property, from potentially reducing your heating costs, to improving the comfort of your rooms, but which system is the best to go for: a boiler or a furnace?

The heating system that you choose for your house will determine the comfort and efficiency of your home for many years, so it’s a decision that needs very careful consideration. Yet, choosing between a boiler and a furnace is no simple task. Both systems may be designed to heat your home, but they couldn’t be more different in terms of design, function, and capability.

It’s time to get to the bottom of which system is the best option for your home…

What Is a Furnace?

Put simply, a furnace is designed to heat air. The heated air is then blown throughout a property via a blower motor. By using a system of ducts installed around the property, the hot air is then released into each room, where it’ll heat the space. This same duct system can also be used for air conditioning in warmer months of the year.

Now that you know how a furnace operates, here are some of the main pros and cons of opting for a furnace to heat your home:

Pros
  • Less expensive than a boiler
  • Leaks are unlikely to cause much damage
  • No risk of frozen pipes
  • Easy and often inexpensive to maintain
  • Furnace duct-work can be used for air conditioning
Cons
  • Not as energy efficient
  • Can cost more to run
  • Heat is not always consistent
  • Can be loud
  • Poor quality ducts can lead to drafts
  • Air quality is reduced due to blown air

What Is a Boiler?

Unlike a furnace, a boiler doesn’t heat air, but instead heats water. Depending on the boiler, either hot water or steam will be circulated via pipes around a property. There’s a lot of variance between boiler applications; some boilers can be used to circulate heat via a fan coil, whilst other systems can be used disperse heat into rooms via radiators or underfloor heating systems.

It’s also possible to have a combi boiler installed which can heat radiators and other systems, as well as being used to heat the main water supply for a property.

Boilers are very different to furnaces in the way that they provide heat to the home, but are the pros of this system worth the cons? Here are some of the main pros and cons to consider:

Pros
  • The heat that a boiler produces is more consistent
  • Easy to maintain
  • Air quality is improved as dust isn’t blown around the room
  • Can be very energy efficient to operate
  • Very quiet operation
  • Easy to control
Cons
  • Higher initial costs
  • Leaking water can cause damage
  • Not always responsive to thermostat changes
  • Freezing pipes are a potential hazard

Furnace Vs Boiler: Which Is Best?

There’s a substantial difference between boilers and furnaces, but despite the main differences, there’s no clear ‘best’ option. A lot depends on the existing system that’s installed inside a property, as altering the system, particularly from a boiler to a furnace, can be very difficult and expensive.

However, for new constructions or properties that are undergoing serious renovations, where a choice has to be made between a boiler and a furnace, it’s certainly worth comparing the pros and cons.

Financially, the installation of a furnace is a more appealing choice initially, as the system is considerably more cost-effective. However, in the long-run, the efficiency of a boiler can seem like a better investment; boilers are more energy efficient, and the heat is generally more consistent.

A major downside to boilers is the risk of damage if a leak should occur. Boilers pose a risk of water damage, and burst pipes, which can occur during freezing temperatures. A furnace is not prone to these problems, as it heats air instead of water. A great advantage of furnaces is also the ease of installing air conditioning.

For properties in warmer climates, furnaces can be a much more beneficial choice, as the inconsistent heat won’t be such a problem and the air conditioning will be greatly depended on. For properties in colder climates, the applications and efficiency of boiler can be very rewarding.

Get Advice from the Professionals

The last thing you want is to regret the system that you choose, as it’s certainly not easy to alter the system down the line! One of the best ways to determine which system will be right for your home is to get advice from heating and cooling specialists, as while there’s no single ‘best’ system, there may be a best system for your home.

 

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