Are Your Heating and Cooling Costs Too High?

A Professional Assessor Can Help Lower Your Utility Bill

Homeownership comes with a lot of expenses–homeowners’ association fees, maintenance, taxes, and utility bills, just to name a few. Utility bills are often the highest monthly cost, with heating and cooling accounting for 50% of your home’s energy consumption. Of course, heating and air conditioning costs can be especially high in the Chicago area with the very hot summers and freezing winters.  If your energy bills are exceptionally high, there’s a good chance that your HVAC system is the culprit.

If you want to know exactly what to do to save money on your heating and cooling, hire a company that performs professional energy evaluations to inspect your home in Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, or any other Chicago suburb.

The Assessment Process

Home energy assessors are experienced professionals who come to your home to evaluate your energy use and efficiency. The assessor will thoroughly examine each room using special equipment like infrared cameras and special thermometers. They will also inspect previous utility bills to see what your typical monthly usage looks like.

The assessor will gather information and make recommendations by providing you with a full report. Some of the suggestions may include adding insulation, sealing and/or insulating air ducts, installing ventilation, and upgrading certain technologies throughout the home.

What to Consider

HVAC system and ductwork

It’s important to have a company conduct routine maintenance and tune-ups on your HVAC system. Professionals know what to look for to ensure your system is running smoothly and efficiently. One of the first places technicians will check is your HVAC filter to see if it needs to be replaced. They will also look for dusty vents and coils, cleaning anything that is preventing the system from running optimally.

Another part of your HVAC system they will check is the ducts. According to ENERGY STAR, leaky ducts can reduce your heating and cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20 percent. Your energy assessor may recommend cleaning, sealing, or insulating them to reduce your energy bill.

Not only will an HVAC servicing help get your system working properly, but it will also stymie future problems that could cause costly repairs.


If your home is not properly insulated, air may escape through the basement or attic. An assessor can locate deficits and may recommend sealing and insulating ducts, adding insulation to the foundation or walls, and sealing cracks to reduce leaks and drafts.

Adding insulation will decrease the heat exchange through surfaces where it is applied. In the winter, it keeps warmth from escaping, and in the summer, it keeps the warm air out. This helps reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home and will lower your monthly utility bill.

Doors and windows

A home may be well insulated, but air can still escape or come in if there are cracks around doors or windows. Old windows and doors can be a major hindrance to energy efficiency. An assessor will check for drafts to see if some areas need caulking or weather-stripping to prevent airflow. Upgrading your windows and doors can significantly reduce heat loss in the winter and keep cool air in during the summer.

Garage Doors

Garage doors (for homes with attached garages) can have a significant impact on your home’s energy efficiency, depending on their material. Vinyl doors provide exceptional insulation, while a typical steel door does not. It may be worth considering a replacement door if yours provides little thermal insulation.

Patio Doors

Many patio doors are sliding doors and typically are not energy efficient because it is hard to avoid air leaks around their weather-stripping. Hinged doors provide less heat exchange, so investing in doors with low emissivity (low-E) glass will help. This type of glass is made to reduce heat loss in the summer and keep heat from escaping in the winter.

A Professional HVAC Service Provider in the Chicago Area: McMahon Services

McMahon Services provides expert air duct and HVAC system cleaning to homes in Chicago and surrounding areas, including Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Mundelein, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, and Skokie. We have expert technicians who can optimize your HVAC’s performance and save you money on heating and cooling bills. Contact us to schedule an appointment.