Chicago News

Cold takes toll on furnaces; Experts recommend sealing off drafts

Monday, January 27, 2014

Furnaces are working overtime to heat homes during the dangerous cold, which means bigger utility bills for homeowners. Sealing your home could help ease the cost of cold weather.

"It's higher than I thought. And it's higher than last January. So, it's kicking pretty good in this weather," Mitch Gora said of his NICOR bill.

Gora wants to reduce his gas bill, and is concerned about possible problems with him insulation.

"We were getting tremendous, large icicles. It's southern exposure but the concern is there some was some sort of heat loss through the attic," Gora said.

Energy Assessor Doug Kinney says a lot of the solutions to heat loss are found in the attic. He said additional insulation and sealing top plates and bathroom fans can help.

Kinney looks for any seams or joints with a heat-sensing camera. But he said homeowners can also simply feel for drafts.

"Little easier in a windy day. If you're going to do weekend warrior, you can go around with clear caulk [on] drafty windows and doors," Kinney said.

Energy experts said fixes around the house to seal home could bring your heat bills down 20-percent.

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