5 Ways to Improve Home Energy Efficiency
With Chicago’s notoriously cold and windy winters, many homeowners search for ways to lower their heating bills. You can make some small changes as well as more significant updates to use less energy while staying warm and cozy. Prepare for the next polar vortex without worrying that you’ll break the bank with these tips to improve home energy efficiency.
Better Energy Efficiency with This Advice
Swap Air Filters Regularly
HVAC manufacturers recommend changing the air filter once every three or so months. This simple maintenance doesn’t just better air quality - it also improves efficiency by removing contaminants like pet fur and dander, hair and dust that can clog ductwork. This debris can make your HVAC work harder to circulate warm air, making it use more power than usual.
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Install a Smart ThermostatThe Environmental Protection Agency notes that using smart thermostats is one of the best ways to save energy in your home. These digital controllers replace traditional thermostats and offer programmable schedules to reduce the utility bill when you’re away but turn up the heat before you get home. Plus, many homeowners love that they can control their furnace from off-site with an app. You can easily make adjustments if you forgot to turn down the temp before leaving or turn up the heat if you are unexpectedly having guests over.
Get Annual HVAC InspectionsKeeping up with HVAC care is one of the easiest ways to lengthen the lifespan of the system and ensure it’s using the least power for the most output. Get a professional heating and air conditioning inspection once a year to reap these benefits. During the appointment, the technician will assess everything from outdoor air intake units to ductwork, pilot lights and filters to look for areas that need attention. They may recommend replacing a part or cleaning out the ducts to improve air quality and will catch potential problems before they require more extensive - and expensive - fixes.
Upgrade Outdated AppliancesMost furnaces and air conditioners last around 15 years. After this point, they tend to require expensive repairs that can quickly add up to a costly bill for a failing appliance. Instead, update to the latest ENERGYSTAR technology that will offer the most energy-efficient operation available. You’ll spend less money over time to control the interior temperature, and you’ll enjoy the reliability of a new system.
Stop Air ExchangeMany homes are not sealed up tight and leak air from the interior. This seemingly small issue can be expensive, as the HVAC will have to work harder to keep up with maintaining a comfortable temperature. Prevent air exchange by having an HVAC technician use a heat sensor in the winter to tell where the air is seeping out. Then, they can install weatherproofing like insulation, adhesive foams or caulk to stop the leaks. Homeowners can also DIY weatherproof around doors and windows by making a trip to a hardware store.
If you’re interested in starting looking for a Chicago-area home, contact the KlopasStratton team. They’re experts at finding the best neighborhoods that offer excellent restaurants, great schools and fascinating cultural attractions. Talk to the team today about finding your dream house, condo or apartment in the Windy City.