Lake Forest, IL, is a fabulous place to live, even with winters that are colder than cold. Fortunately, you can keep your home snug and toasty no matter what Old Man Winter throws your way. Here’s how to maximize indoor comfort to stay warm without sacrificing energy efficiency.
Schedule Annual Furnace Maintenance to Stay Warm
Only a hearty and robust furnace can hold down the fort when a deep freeze is in progress outside. But even a powerhouse heating system needs an annual tuneup to keep it going strong. A well-maintained furnace is a happy furnace, and if your furnace is happy, you will be happy too. Annual furnace maintenance should always be performed by an HVAC professional, and it should include a complete system inspection, a thorough cleaning, and a lubrication of all moving parts. In between furnace inspections, do your part by replacing the air filter regularly.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat makes life easier and increases energy efficiency, too. You can set it to maintain different temperatures at different times of the day and on different days of the week. A programmable thermostat is a “set it and forget it” device that will maintain a comfortable indoor temperature when you’re home and turn back the heat when you’re sleeping or away from home.
Seal Leaky Duct Work
The ducts that distribute treated air throughout your Lake Forest home can, over time, develop leaks and cracks through which up to 40 percent of heated and cooled air can escape. Duct work should be inspected, cleaned and sealed every several years. Not only do clean and sealed ducts help to maintain energy efficiency, they also help to keep indoor air quality high.
Install Storm Windows
If your home has storm windows, use them. Storm windows are one of the most cost-effective ways to keep the cold out and the heat in. Storms cost way less than replacement windows, but they’ll keep the chill out just as well. For added protection against brutally cold temperatures and wind chills, invest in low-e storm windows. These smart windows are coated with an almost invisible layer of metal that increases insulation and reflects infrared heat back into your home. According to Energy.gov, low-e storm windows can save you up to 33 percent on annual heating and cooling costs. For the average homeowner, that translates into more than $300 every year.
Weatherize Your Home
Seal leaky and drafty doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping. If your attic gets seriously cold in winter, consider attic insulation as well. Be sure that your attic and basement doors are kept closed at all times, especially if these areas are unfinished. You can also conserve heat by keeping doors and air registers closed in unused areas of the house like guest bedrooms and bathrooms.
Use Space Heaters For Supplemental Warmth
Space heaters can provide on-demand warmth in the rooms you use the most. Instead of heating up the entire house just to feel toasty in one or two rooms, you can keep your thermostat at an energy efficient setting and get the warmth you crave with space heaters. Just be sure to use them with care.
Invest In Thick Curtains And Area Rugs
Heavy curtains can help to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, especially at night. These curtains come with a thermal lining and are thicker than regular drapes. And if you have bare floors, placing area rugs in the rooms where you spend the most time will make these rooms feel warmer.
Install A Humidifier
You probably know that humidifiers can keep dry winter air at bay. But did you know that they can also make your home feel warmer? An ideal indoor humidity level is about 35 percent, but in winter, indoor humidity levels can drop to 10 percent. Whole house humidification systems use a heating element to create warm steam. This, in turn, makes your home feel warmer.
Illinois winters can pack quite a punch, but you can keep the cold, wind and snow outside, where it belongs. For more tips on winter weatherization and how you can spend less on home heating and more on skiing, skating and snowmobiling, visit the cold weather busters at Ireland Heating & Air Conditioning or call (847) 388-0108. The pros at Ireland have been keeping Lake Forest, IL, homeowners warm for over 30 years.