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Top Tips for Maximizing Home Heating Efficiency

According to The State Climatologist Office for Illinois, “Illinois, on the average, experiences five severe winter storms during the November-April period.

This is all to say, that it’s really cold and dark out and will likely stay that way for a while. But instead of feeling cold and blue all winter, follow our home heating efficiency advice so you can keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

1. Schedule Furnace Maintenance

The best thing you can do to increase home heating efficiency is to schedule annual furnace maintenance. Fall is the best time to schedule furnace maintenance, while spring is the best time for air conditioning maintenance. Here is a useful video from HowCast that shows you how to replace a furnace filter:

View How to Replace a Furnace Filter on Howcast

Also, don’t forget to check and/or replace your air filters every 30-60 days. This is one of the easiest, but most neglected, things one can do to maximize your home’s heating efficiency and prevent costly breakdowns.

Consider replacing your old HVAC system for a more energy efficient system if it is over 10 years old. It will seem that a new furnace is out of your budget, but the money you save on an efficient system will far outweigh the costs.

If you want to figure out the best, most cost-effective ways to increase home heating efficiency, Cassel Home Comfort has you covered. We will do a full whole home inspection and analysis before recommending any products or services. If it seems that you need a replacement or upgrade, we will give you the best options for your home.

2. Purchase and Set Programmable Thermostat


Furnaces are on and smoke is rising out of people’s chimneys. In addition to upgrading and maintaining your heating equipment, one of the best things you can do isinstall and set a programmable thermostat.

You can have it run less while you are away from your home or during the night and then keep it at a comfortable temperature the rest of the time. We recommend setting it to 67 degrees or lower while you are asleep or away from home and raising it to around 70 degrees, or whatever temperature is comfortable, while you are home and awake.

Lowering your thermostat just one degree can save you up to 5% on you heating bill. Consider bundling up with robes, hats, gloves, and other warm items to save on your heating costs.

3. Set Your Ceiling Fan to Winter Setting

Many people think ceiling fans are only for the summer, but in fact, they can help you stay warm and save energy in the winter. All you have to do is locate the black switch on the base of your ceiling fan, usually located above the light bulbs, if you have them.

Flip the switch so that the fan runs clockwise and at low speed. This will bring air up instead of blowing down and will force your warm air near the ceiling and down and out toward the walls.

Ceiling Fan

Source: Hansen Wholesale

4. Seal Up Your Home

There is not point in having an energy efficient heating system if all your nice, warm air is escaping out of your house. Make sure the warm air stays inside by inspecting your home for leaks and sealing them up.

The energy savings are immeasurable and could save you up to thousands of dollars every year. Insulating your attic and basement are essential but are bigger projects to tackle. Consider hiring a professional to take care of your insulation needs.

For smaller leaks and cracks in windows, doors, and air ducts, the solution is much cheaper and easier. Use Weatherproof Caulk for any external leaks smaller than a quarter of an inch. Use Expandable Foam Spray for any leaks greater than a quarter of an inch. For air duct leaks, ironically duct tape is not a good solution. Use mastic sealing or aluminum duct tape instead. Here is a useful video for how to do that:

Use this map, provided by to inspect your home for air leaks. With an incense stick, go around you home to all of the listed areas and hold it up to suspected air leaks. If the smoke moves erratically, you have found an air leak. Now, all you have to do is seal it up.


If you need help detecting air leaks and other sources of inefficiencies in your home, call your home comfort experts at (217) 866-1596 for your free Whole Home Inspection and Analysis and more home heating efficiency advice. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.

We also offer an ongoing Home Maintenance Plan to help ensure you not only have regular heater/furnace tune-ups and maintenance checks, but also saves your money!

Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling is committed to being your best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both Value and Customer Service!