Chilly autumn nights have already arrived in Kansas City, and winter is well on its way. And in this part of the country, plummeting temperatures mean it’s time to turn on the furnace. As anyone with a furnace knows, keeping your home toasty during the coldest months of the year can lead to a dramatic increase in utility costs. Fortunately, there are a number of steps homeowners can take to reduce their bills while keeping their homes warm.

Routine maintenance is perhaps the best way to ensure that your furnace is performing at high-efficiency, which can translate to substantial money saved. The average furnace has a long lifespan—as many as 18 years, if regularly maintained. Having a professional stop in to inspect, perform routine maintenance on, and repair any issues with your furnace each year before the cold weather sets in help to ensure that your unit is heating your home at peak performance, thereby improving your comfort, reducing your energy costs, and extending the life of your system.

If your furnace is approaching the end of its lifespan, you might also consider replacing it with a newer energy efficient model. A high-efficiency furnace is one designed with minimal heat loss in mind—the vast majority of the heat it produces is utilized to warm the home rather than escaping through a duct or chimney. Replacing an older furnace with a high-efficiency one can yield an annual savings of as much as 25% on your home heating bill.

Programmable thermostats are yet another option that leverages the power of technology to yield more efficient, cost-effective home heating. A programmable thermostat allows you to program your system to heat the home to a specific temperature at a pre-determined time of day—for example, first thing in the morning, or around the time you arrive home from work. By keeping your system from running full-blast when you are asleep or away from home, you dramatically reduce your energy usage while ensuring that your home is comfortably warm when you need it to be.

Preventing cold outdoor air from entering your home is another great way to stay warm without breaking the bank. Sealing a fireplace that isn’t in use, for example, helps to keep warm air in and cold air out, as does sealing drafty windows and gaps beneath doors.
Finally, a few alterations to your home décor can go a long way toward keeping your home toasty without running the furnace 24/7. An area rug on a hardwood or tile floor helps to trap cold air and reduce heat loss, making your feet feel warmer. Replacing lightweight curtains with heavier fabric such as a cotton blend or wool can likewise help to insulate an interior space. Combined with an electric throw blanket, these affordable and effective solutions nicely complement a furnace when it comes to keeping warm.
Winter is coming, which means it’s the perfect time to ensure that your furnace is up to the task of keeping you warm throughout the season. Whether you’re in need of a basic Kansas City furnace tune-up, a repair, or a system replacement, contact the professionals at Cates Heating and Cooling today!

Cates Heating and Cooling provides heating and cooling services to businesses and residences around the Greater Kansas City area. If you’re looking to ensure that your furnace is in tip-top shape before winter arrives or would like a free estimate on new furnace installation, contact Cates today. We’re ready to help keep you warm!