As Chicago temperatures plummet, you’ll undoubtedly see your energy bills begin to rise. Most of these costs are inevitable in our climate, but there are a few things you can do to keep your energy bill slightly lower this year.

Here are our top 4 low-cost tips to keep your winter energy consumption in check:

  1. Install a new furnace filter. All the air coming out of your furnace to warm your home has to first go through your filter. An old, clogged filter can dramatically increase the work your furnace has to do, thereby increasing energy consumption.
  2. Address the leaks. Every apartment has cold areas. Usually, an air leak or exterior wall is to blame. Investing a little time and money into addressing these problem areas will help to stabilize the temperature of your entire living space.
  3. Reverse the ceiling fans. Some people don’t know that most ceiling fans are reversible – flipping the small switch will cause the fan to spin the other way, pushing warm air near the ceiling down where you can feel it.
  4. Make use of your programmable thermostat. You’d be surprised how effective a programmable thermostat can be. Instead of keeping your home at one temperature all winter, experiment with the settings to lower your energy consumption – the temperature can be cooler mid-day while you’re at work, and you can probably lower it by a couple of degrees overnight when you’re in bed. Mornings and evenings, on the other hand, are a great time to keep temperatures toasty.

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