As all Chicago residents know, winters are harder on the utility bill than summers. What many people don’t know, however, is that they are making the situation worse by not taking preventative action. With this in mind, here are five ways to make sure you are not paying more than you should for heat this winter.
Have Your HVAC System Examined
Although your HVAC system can last up to twenty years before needing replacement, you should never wait that long to have it examined by an HVAC contractor. These trained professionals will inspect your unit for cleanliness, excess moisture, and microbial contaminations. If you do not have an examination, and your unit is running inefficiently, then you will be needlessly incurring extra heating costs for years and years.
Change the Filter When Necessary
You should be sure to change your filter at least once a month. If you do not change your filter, your heating and cooling system will be working harder than necessary, which costs you more money in the long run. To cut down even further on costs, you might want to purchase a reusable filter that can be cleaned instead of replaced.
Replace Your Mercury Thermostat
Mercury thermostats are inaccurate and outdated, and will often exceed whatever temperature you set. A digital thermostat, however, is a far more accurate and cost-efficient solution to home heating. Unlike a mercury thermostat, a digitized one can be programmed to raise the heat only during the hours when you occupy the house – no more forgetting to turn the heat down when you leave home, and the ability to control the temperature of your house to the exact degree.
Keep Your Heating Ducts Cleaned Out
A well-cleaned heating duct will provide clean air in return. If there are any obstructions, dents or disconnections in the ductwork or the insulation, however, then your heat can easily escape, and your heating costs can raise significantly as a result. Since these problems can be hard to find, you may want to consider an HVAC contractor for this procedure, as they can also perform maintenance on your system’s equipment (belts, motors, switches, thermostats, gas pressure, etc.) in addition to cleaning the ducts as well.
If you abide by all five of these easy-to-follow “housewarming” strategies, you may find your winter in Prospect Heights and Chicagoland to be much cheaper this year.