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10 Tips to Save on Illinois Energy Costs this Winter

Odds are you and your neighbors are looking for ways to save on heating costs this winter. You’ll be glad to know you can cut Illinois energy costs without expensive remodeling or the purchase of brand new HVAC equipment. Here are some relatively simple, low-cost ways you can cut your heating costs on your Illinois energy bill this winter.

10 Tips to Save on Heating Costs

  1. Check the height of your exterior door thresholds. You should not be able to see any light between the bottom of your exterior doors and the bottom threshold under the door. If you can, you are giving warm air an easy way to get out and drafty cold air an easy entry point. Cure this issue by raising the threshold height or by adding a door sweep to the bottom of the door. You can also use a variety of tubular, stuffed draft stoppers that you can lay across the bottom of your door once you are inside.
  2. Use a portable heater to help heat the room in which your family spends the most time. Most of us heat our entire home to the temperature we are most comfortable, yet many of the rooms are empty. Consider a space heater or portable heaters for the rooms you use most. This will keep you cozy without wasting money overheating rooms that aren’t being used.
  3. Check your ductwork for leaks. The sheet metal pieces of your ductwork can develop leaks and creases over-time. This prevents all of the heated air from getting to the specified heating vents. You can save on heating costs by inspecting ductwork where you can and sealing any seam that appears loose with duct tape.
  4. Buy a programmable thermostat. You will likely save heating costs by purchasing a thermostat that you can program to comfortable temperatures when you are at home and save energy when you are not. Thermostats are inexpensive, usually under $50.
  5. Buy heavier, insulated curtains to help keep your home warm. Heavier blinds, curtains, and shades can do wonders keeping out the cold, especially if you have older windows. At the same time, you can use windows that face the sun to “capture” natural sunlight to help warm your home during daylight.
  6. Check weatherstripping around windows and doors. It may seem like last year when you replaced weatherstripping around your doors and windows but it may be much longer. Weatherstripping loses its ability to be effective after several years and replacing it can help you save on heating bills.
  7. Caulk or use expanding liquid foam to insulate where pipes and vents enter your home. Anywhere there is a breach into your home where cold air or drafts can enter is likely costing you money. Look under your sinks, around your dryer’s vent, and take electrical socket covers off to see where you can save on heating bills.
  8. Install clear plastic film over windows. Today’s modern, plastic fill products are easy to install and are hardly noticeable once installed. Using a simple blower hair dryer will stretch the film to be virtually invisible. The impact they can have to cut heating costs can be surprising.
  9. Reverse ceiling fans. You may know that heat rises but did you know that your ceiling fan can help recirculate that warm air back down from the ceiling to save on heating bills? There is likely a switch on your fan that can reverse the direction of the blades to counterclockwise in the winter, helping you use energy more efficiently.
  10. Change your furnace air filters. We say this so often but it is absolutely critical if you want to save on heating costs. Furnace filters are inexpensive and easy to change and should be step number one if you want to cut heating costs.

Of course, if you are still frustrated with your heating bills, we invite you to call the indoor air experts at Althoff Industries.  We’ve been helping keep Chicago and Illinois area homeowners comfortable for over 50 years.

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