Shannon's story

"With the winter we just had, I'm so glad I upgraded my furnace. We were warm and comfortable."

Energy-efficient furnace brings peace of mind during a polar vortex

Shannon was worried.

“With a 20 year old furnace you just don’t know.”

Her house was built in 1956 and was built for an oil furnace. Her natural-gas furnace was close to 20 years old and she knew that eventually it might break down.

Shannon learned about the offers available to Nicor Gas customers through energySMART and upgraded her furnace to a high-efficiency model. Her research told her she was going to receive a rebate, thanks to energySMART.

“After he installed my furnace, my local HVAC contractor had all the paperwork ready for me to complete the rebate process. I didn't have to print anything off the Internet. All I had to do was fill out minor information he had ready for me on a clipboard. The rebate process was easy. And the check came quickly.”

Shannon knew that the true test would be this winter, where northern Illinois experienced its coldest four-month period on record between December 2013 and March 2014.

“With the winter we just had, I’m so glad I upgraded my furnace. We were warm and we were comfortable. A thrifty mom sets the temperature at 65 degrees. After we installed our new furnace, I kept the thermostat set at 72. So not only were we in t-shirts during the polar vortex, but my energy bill was reasonable. The temperature in my home was up and my bill was down.”

Like Shannon, it is smart to research options for a new heating system before your current one breaks, so you can make an informed decision if you need to act quickly.

“My furnace gave me peace of mind during the polar vortex. Had I not upgraded when I did, I would have been worried about my home because of the freezing temperatures. We were comfortable.”

Shannon’s energy-efficiency equipment saved her $50 annually, which went toward a family outing.