DON’T BE FUELISH: Tips for Saving Energy and Staying Warm

Living in Illinois and Wisconsin we know that no matter how warm it may be in March, a bitter cold spell is always lurking right around the corner. We also know that when the cold hits, our energy bills skyrocket. Tim Johnson of McBath Construction provided us with some helpful tips below to save money and improve heating efficiency.


Not all homes have a fireplace, but for those that do, there is a potential for dollars going right up the chimney. Major heat can escape through the fireplace when not in use. If the flue is not properly sealed or is partially left open, it can be the equivalent as having a large window open. In addition to the chimney being an opening for warm air to escape, it also acts as a draft that pulls warm air out quickly during something called “Stack Effect“. 

How to ensure you are not losing heat through your fireplace and chimney:

  • Close the flue securely when the fireplace is not in use. Even if using the fireplace frequently make sure that in between uses you are closing the flue each time.
  • Consider having heat resistant glass doors installed on the front.
  • If you do not use your fireplace and/or it is no longer operational, seal the chimney and flue entirely.
  • Any issues with the operation of the flue should be checked right away to avoid having massive heat loss. 

Leaky Windows & Door Sweeps

Here are some ways to cut down on the cost of heat loss in doors and windows:

  • If you test the air flow around your windows and doors with tissue, you can see the actual movement of air and how much cold air is being let in.
  • If the windows are old, the glass panes might also be the issue. Heat loss can occur through radiation or convection through the window cavities. If this is the case, plastic window coverings can be installed to keep the cold air out and the heat in. 
    • If you do not like the look of plastic window coverings, McBath offers alternative products that can be easily removed in the spring months when the weather turns. 
  • Door sweeps and new weather stripping around doors can be replaced to help better seal your doors. 

Ceiling Fan

Here are some tips on how to best utilize your ceiling fan to maintain temperature:

  • Ceiling fans keep the AC circulating in the summer months by pushing the air down creating a wind chill effect. In the winter months you can use them to pull the warm air up and out.
  • Most ceiling fans have a switch on the side of the unit that will change the direction in which the fan circulates. Flip the switch at the start of fall and then flip it back when the weather gets warm in the spring.
  • Clockwise rotation in the winter and counterclockwise in the summer. 

Clockwise (Winter)

Counter-clockwise (Summer)

Remember, if you ever need a job done, big or small, remember McBath does it all. Please do not hesitate to call!

(630) 324-6555 |

2733 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515

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