- Install Low Flow Shower Heads and Faucets
An easy, effective and inexpensive way to save energy is to install low flow shower heads and faucets in your home. Energy efficient fixtures can save 25%-60% on your annual water bill. Low flow fixtures have evolved significantly since their introduction to the market years ago. The new improved models offer increased water pressure and different spray variations. Additionally, installation is fairly simple for homeowners to complete themselves, without professional assistance.
- Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances for your Home
Purchasing new Energy-Star efficient appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, heat pumps, boilers and hot water heaters, may seem like a costly investment at first, but will ultimately pay for themselves after just a few years through reduced water usage and energy output. Installing energy efficient appliances also allows you to take advantage of federal and state tax deductions, local utility discounts, as well as manufacturers’ rebates.
- Install Programmable Thermostats
Installing a programmable thermostat is an easy way to decrease energy usage that makes your home HVAC system “smarter,” independently switching on and off according to your presets. Installing programmable thermostats will also qualify you for tax credits.
- Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Making sure your home is accurately insulated can save money in many ways. First, make sure that your home’s structure is properly and professionally insulated with quality material. Areas of your home that should be insulated include not only the walls, but the attic, as well. This helps keep warm air in and cold air out in the winter; vice versa in the summer.If you own a traditional water heater, placing an insulating blanket around your hot water heater and surrounding pipes is also a good way to save energy, and also reduce the risk of frozen pipes during frigid weather.Insulating and sealing any existing cracks or openings around windows and doorways with weather-stripping is another simple, effective fix to protect from drafts, saving on heating and cooling costs.
- Replace Filters in Central Air Conditioning and Heating Systems
Keeping up with regular replacement of air conditioning and furnace filters is another inexpensive and easy way to keep your systems running efficiently. When filters become clogged with dirt and dust, it restricts air flow and causes your system to work overtime, costing you more money on utility usage and possible repairs. Some systems require filter replacement every few months, while others may require seasonal replacement. It’s best to check with your manufacturer’s instructions to verify how often replacement is needed for your specific system.
- Install Ceiling Fans
Adding ceiling fans will not only provide a cool, comfortable current of air to any room in your house during the summer months, it can also be used as a heating supplement during the winter, when warm air tends to rise inside. With just a flick of switch, you can reverse the fan direction, bringing warm air downward, where you want it the most.
- Make Maintenance Tune-ups a Must
Scheduling maintenance tune-ups of your air conditioning and heating systems on a regular basis can contribute to long-term savings by guaranteeing quality and energy-efficient operation, as well as reducing the risk of future repairs .
Furnace Cleaning and Tune Up, with Carbon Monoxide Safety Inspection
A furnace cleaning and tune up will only do so much. The technician can come in and clean all the parts, check the wiring, make sure the thermostat is correct, but what happens if something isn’t right? It might be a minor repair, but who knows if that small problem will lead to bigger ones down the road. This is why you have a furnace cleaning and tune up – to catch the small stuff. But if you want to get a head start to ensure your furnace will not break down in the middle of winter, then replacement is the best option.
If you install a new Nicor Gas high-efficiency furnace between October 2013 and May 31, 2014, you’ll receive one of these rebates:
- Installing one with 97% or higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) receives a $400 rebate
- 95% AFUE receives $300 rebate
- 92% or lower AFUE receives $200 rebate
All rebate applications must be postmarked or submitted online within 90 days of installation, or by June 30, 2014.