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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!

High Temps, Low Costs: How to Lower Your Heating Bill In Winter

As anyone who lives in the Chicagoland area knows, the winters can be especially harsh, so as the cold season approaches it isn’t surprising that many families start to worry about how they’re going to be able to afford to pay their heating bills. Luckily, it is possible to save energy and save money while staying comfortable even on the coldest days of the year. Here are some top tips to help you reduce your heating bill and to ensure you stay cozy when the snow starts to fall.

 

Keep Your Heating Costs Low This Winter

 

Focus On Your Windows

 

Your windows are the source of much of the heat loss from your home, but there are a number of steps you can take to minimize heat loss and maximize the sun’s warmth. Firstly, on sunny days, always open the curtains on all of your home’s windows that face south as this will enable the sun’s rays to heat your property naturally. Of course, you must also remember to close your curtains once more as the night starts to fall as this will keep out the chill of the cold glass.

 

If you find that drafts are still coming through your windows, you can use a clear plastic heavy duty sheet on a frame, or alternatively, tape some clear plastic film onto the inner side of the window frames during the winter. By sealing the plastic tightly to the window frame, fewer drafts will be able to find their way into your rooms. You can also reduce heat loss by installing insulating, tight fitting shades or drapes on your windows. This will boost the energy efficiency of your home helping you to reduce your heating bill and to reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

 

Make Some Temperature Adjustments

 

By using your thermostat properly you can slash your heating costs exponentially. If you are in the house during the day, turn down your thermostat to the lowest temperature that is still comfortable. If you are sleeping or away from home, you should turn down the thermostat to somewhere between 10 and 15 degrees for 8 hours of the day. This will cut about 10% per year off your cooling and heating bills. By investing in a programmable or smart thermostat, you can easily adjust your temperature in the most convenient way.

 

While nobody wants to stay bundled up in bulky coats and hats when they’re in their home, you can afford to turn your thermostat down a small amount and still be comfortable if you choose a setting between 60 and 70 degrees and keep a sweater on. Making a small sacrifice like this can cut your heating bill by up to a fifth, and that can amount to a pretty impressive saving.

 

Consider Investing In New Appliances

 

 

Although buying a new water heater or heating system might sound like an expensive waste of money, it’s important to consider the long term. Heating your home’s water accounts for as much as 11% of your utility bills and that means that changing your water heater for a more energy efficient one can make all the difference. If you have a traditional water tank heater, consider switching to a tankless one which only heats water as and when it‘s required to avoid the additional energy consumption of heating water which is not required.

 

You should also take a look at your furnace. If you have an ageing oil or gas fired furnace it’s important to be aware that their lifespan is only around 15-20 years and if your is approaching the end of its useful life it could be causing your energy bills to inflate. Replacing your older model with a new Energy Star certified unit could save you as much as 20% on your heating bills. If you’re planning to remain in your home for a few more years, making the upfront investment will pay for itself in a short time.

 

 

Find Those Leaks

 

Leaks and cracks around your home are the source of unwanted drafts and also contribute to your property’s overall heat loss, resulting in you having to crank up the thermostat and increase your heating bills in order to stay warm. One way to retain heat is to find any air leaks around your home and to seal the gaps to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from getting in. Check gaps around any recessed lights, chimneys, utility pipe cut throughs and any areas behind closets and cupboards for hidden cracks and then seal them. It’s also wise to use weatherstripping or caulk to seal any air leaks around your windows and doors.

 

Schedule A Heating System Service

 

The last thing you want is to wake up on the coldest day of the year to find that your heating system has broken down. While many people think that they can save on the cost of regular maintenance when it comes to their heating system, skimping on this essential service can lead to a much more expensive bill if and when the system eventually breaks down. By arranging an annual service for your heating system you can make sure that it is working at the optimal level and that any problems have been spotted and rectified before they get out of hand and cause a major problem. An annual tune up will ensure that all the components are in good working order and that the system is functioning most economically to save you money and to keep your home toasty warm.

 

 

Keeping Your Heating System Clean

 

If you have a heat pump or a furnace, it’s important to always replace the filter on a monthly basis, or more frequently if necessary. Maintaining your heat pump, boiler or furnace is vital to keeping it in good running order. If you have a pellet or wood burning heater, you should always take care to clean its flue vent frequently as well as cleaning the interior of the appliance periodically with a wire brush as this will ensure your home is being heated efficiently.

 

Reducing Heat Loss From Fireplaces

 

While a fire in the grate is a cozy image, if your home has a fireplace, this can be a major source of heat loss. Warm air is drawn upwards through the chimney leaving your room cold and uncomfortable whenever there is no fire burning, so it is always important to keep the damper firmly closed. If you allow it to remain open it is similar to leave a window open, allowing warm air to escape at an alarming rate.

 

Whenever the fireplace is in use, you can reduce any additional heat loss by keeping the damper open in the bottom of the firebox. If your fireplace does not have dampers, you can open a window very slightly instead (no more than an inch) while also closing all of the doors which lead into the room. You can then reduce the setting of your thermostat to around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Another option for your fireplace is to install tempered glass doors as well as a heat-air exchange system. This will blow the warm air back into your room for a much more energy efficient alternative that will ensure your space stays extremely comfortable. You should also check the fireplace flue damper’s seal to ensure it is as snug as it can be to avoid drafts. Buying a grate which is made from C-shaped metal tubes will ensure that cool air from the room is drawn into the fireplace while warm air is effectively circulated back through the room.

 

On the other hand, if you have a fireplace but find that you never actually use it for its intended purpose it could be time to think of getting rid of it. If you plug and seal your flue, you’ll find that the room becomes a lot warmer but you won’t lose the attractive feature in your room.

 

Reduce The Cost Of Your Water Heating

 

Turning down your water heater’s temperature to “warm” or around 120 degrees Fahrenheit will make a big difference when it comes to saving energy and, as an added bonus, you’ll never need to worry about accidentally scalding yourself when washing your hands or running a bath.

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