As temperatures outside are quickly dropping, some Chicagoans are already feeling the weight from the sudden increase in their energy bills. It has even been estimated that the price of the city of Chicago’s utilities will be the highest since 2008-2009.
The average gas bill during a Chicago Winter in 2021 was roughly $96 per month. This year, that average is expected to be around 44% higher for homes across the Chicagoland area.
This unexpected spike in monthly bills has local residents wondering what they can do to conserve energy and save money this winter.
How To Conserve Energy During Winter
The average gas bill in Chicago is already a staggering $521 to warm their home for the winter and it is projected to increase by at least $450 or more. Save both energy and money this season by following these helpful tips.
Keep Thermostat Consistent
Constantly changing your thermostat settings, even by a few degrees, can use more energy than keeping it set at a consistent temperature. If you get cold, keep a blanket nearby. If you get too hot, be sure to dress in layers so you can remove a sweatshirt or sweater when you are uncomfortable.
Draft Proof Your Home
Do It Yourself weather stripping kits are easy to install and can keep those chilly drafts from entering your home.
Add Extra Insulation
Adding thick layers of insulation to basement ceilings and attics can help keep warm air in your home where it belongs. You can also opt to have loose-fill insulation blown into your walls to ensure your home stays comfortable all winter long.
Small appliances like your toaster, hair dryer, or iron, continue to use electricity even when they are turned off. Unplug them so they don’t continue to waste energy when not in use.
Take Advantage Of Window Treatments
Thermal curtains can help trap heat in your home so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard. You can open your curtains on bright sunny days to allow the warmth to come in, but be sure to draw them on chilly days so the heat doesn’t escape.
Adjusting your thermostat to a few degrees cooler can save a lot of money on your monthly energy bills. Layer your clothing to keep you comfortable and remember, a lot of your body heat escapes from your feet so be sure to put on a pair of warm, thick socks.
Keep Doors Closed
Use less energy to warm your home by keeping the interior doors closed to trap the heat in each room. Sliding a draft guard under each door can help keep the warm air in as well. Open doors force your heating system to work harder, which will drive up the total on your next energy bill.
Make The Most Of Your Oven
Your oven is a great source of heat, but also requires a lot of energy to use. Since the entire oven heats up regardless of how many shelves you use, take advantage of this extra space and cook several meals at once to conserve energy. When you are finished cooking, turn your oven off, but leave the door open to allow that excess heat to warm your home.
Invest In A Water Efficient Shower Head
It takes a lot of energy to heat the water for your showers. Replacing your shower head with a water efficient option can result in significant savings.
Keep Your Refrigerator Well Stocked
An empty refrigerator uses more energy to keep everything at the proper temperature, but if your fridge is filled, the compacted items will keep everything cooler.
Use The Correct Burner
Most homeowners don’t put a lot of thought into what burner they are using when cooking their food. If you are using a small pan, be sure to use the small burner. The larger burners use more energy to heat so a lot of that energy is wasted if you aren’t using a large pot or pan.
Do a quick inspection of the heat vents and registers in your home. Are any of them blocked by furniture or other items? If so, unblocking the flow of heat will keep your room much warmer.
Wash Laundry In Cold Water
Washing your laundry in cold water rather than hot water can save a ton of energy. 90% of the energy used to wash your clothes is spent just on heating the water.
Invest In Solar Power
Not only can you save up to a third of your monthly energy bill just by installing environmentally friendly solar panels, you can even get paid for the electricity you generate.
Replace Your Heating System
If you have done everything you can think of yet your home still isn’t staying warm and your energy bills continue to rise, it might be time to consider replacing your HVAC system for a more energy efficient model. Furnaces and boilers that are past their prime have to use far more energy to heat your home resulting in much higher utility bills.
Can People’s Gas Disconnect During Winter In Chicago?
When temperatures fall below freezing, Illinois residents cannot be disconnected if they did not pay their utility bills. If you’re struggling to pay your heating bills this Winter, then we recommend you get assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)and the Department of Energy as soon as possible.
Everyone deserves to stay warm, comfortable and safe during the winter months.
Quality Heating Services You Can Count On
Deljo Heating & Cooling has been helping families just like yours stay warm every winter since 1922 and are committed to providing dependable heating services to the homeowners of Chicago and the surrounding areas.
From programming a smart thermostat to replacing your home’s water heater, our team of NATE-certified HVAC technicians can handle all of your heating and cooling needs. Give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our heating specialists today.