Brrr!  After relatively mild temperatures closed out 2018, we have now faced record-low frigidness in Chicagoland.  It’s imperative we stay comfortable and warm in our homes, but how can we do that without breaking the bank? Here are some things we can do without adjusting the thermostat.

Use Ceiling Fans to Your Advantage.  Reverse the ceiling fans to rotate clockwise as opposed to the normal counter-clockwise rotation.  This change will help push warm air down from the ceiling into the room and help circulate the warmth.

Take Advantage of Window Insulation Kits.  Older windows can be the biggest culprit of allowing heat to escape.  A simple insulation kit, using sheets of plastic that are placed over the window, can help eliminate the draft.

Consider Investing in a Programmable Thermostat.  Create a heating schedule according to your family’s routines.  Lower the heat when no one is at home and schedule the heat to rise again shortly before your return.  A programmable thermostat also allows you to heat your home at a consistent level, eliminating the need for the furnace to work overtime when the temperatures plummet.

Make Sure Your Furnace’s Air Filter is Clean.  Not only can a dirty air filter prevent warm air from circulating throughout the home, but it also makes your furnace work overtime to pump out heat.  The furnace must push more hot air out to get through a dirty filter. A clean filter ensures the warm air has an easier path to travel to heat the home.

Seal All Leaks in Windows and Doors.  Small cracks allow cold air in and warm air to escape.  Sealing the interior of doors and windows with a weather-resistant caulk can help eliminate the draft caused by these small leaks.  

Check Your Insulation.  Attic insulation is very important in preventing heat loss in the winter.  Make sure your attic is properly insulated. Professionals can remove the old insulation if it has become damaged or ineffective and replace it with a variety of different insulation materials, including cellulose, fiberglass, and spray foam.  

As we power through the last blast of winter, our furnaces no doubt will be working hard to keep us warm.  Using these tips can help keep energy bills in check.