We’re truly in the middle of a Chicago winter, as the 7-day forecast has more negative numbers than above 0 numbers! With those negative temps, it’s hard to keep your home warm while savings on costs.
Most homes in Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Huntley and Crystal Lake are not brand new, and don’t have the most up to date energy efficiency features. And once a home is constructed and “settles”, cold air inevitably finds its way in. And there’s nothing you can do….right?
Not so fast….
Here are some quick tips you can use around the house to keep your energy costs down, and make sure your home is still warm during these brutally cold months. Feel free to share with a friend.
Set Your Thermostat – Most thermostats are digital and can programed. According to EnergyStar, a programmable thermostat saves up to $180 per year. Set your thermostat to a lower temp for the hours you’re not home, and turn it up for when you’re home. If you don’t have a programmable, do it manually. Cost – $0
Install Weatherstripping or Door Sweeps – Exterior doors are known for allowing cold air into your home. If you’re unsure? Light a candle and hold it up to the door. If the flame goes out, it’s leaking air. Go to Home Depot and pick up a door sweep & weatherstripping for cheap. Then get on youtube and learn how to install it. Cost – $20-50
Seal HVAC Ducts – According to EnergyStar, heating ducts lose 20-30% of the heated air they carry from poor conduction & leaks. If you can get to your ductwork, re-tape the joints. Cost – $10-20 for 1-2 rolls of tape.
Replace Furnace Filters – Not replacing furnace filters = lower energy efficiency & higher utility costs. (It’ll also shorten the life of the furnace, costing you more $$$ later.) Cost – $1-2 per furnace filter (you can get the expensive ones, but most furnaces are better off with the cheap ones).
Close Vents in Rooms – Most people end up buying a house that’s too big and half the rooms sit empty (I’m one of them, why do we need a living room!?). If that’s you, then go into those rooms and close the vents. Now the heat can flow to only rooms that are being used. Cost – $0
Close Fireplace Damper, Reverse Ceiling Fans – if you have a fireplace, make sure you close the damper when it’s not being used. A lot of people forget to, and air escapes through the flue… If you have ceiling fans, run them on the lowest setting in reverse so they’re pulling cold air upwards. Cost – $0
Use Window Treatments to Your Advantage – If it’s sunny out, open all your blinds or curtains and let the sun heat your home. If it’s dark out, close them and it acts as extra insulation. Cost – $0
Dress Warmer – Wear a hoodie, sweats, get some slippers. Don’t stay at home in shorts and have your thermostat at 71 degrees, unless you like giving away money. Cost – $0
These are just a few tips on how to save money on utility costs. You can also go a little deeper and assess some major items. IE – furnace, windows, insulation, or doors. If you’re unsure or need a recommendation, I have some contractors in my network that can help
Thanks for giving this a read, and stay warm & healthy this winter.
Broker /Owner – 103 Realty
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