Living in Orland Park, Illinois, my family makes the most of the warm weather. Our spring and fall seasons tend to be windy, wet and chilly. While the summer can get hot and muggy, it’s our opportunity to get outside and appreciate the beauty of our local area. Just a few minutes drive from our house, on the banks of the Cal-Sag Channel is Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Park with a ten-acre lake, indoor nature center and 85 acres to explore. There are woodland and wetlands, prairie, gardens and a really spectacular man-made waterfall. The wildflowers are truly gorgeous over the summer. The heritage garden grows crops native to our region. We try to hike, bike, kayak, swim, play tennis and enjoy every possible outdoor activity, because the sunny conditions don’t last long. By early October, the temperature has cooled down considerably. We get lots of rain that very quickly turns to snow. We can expect well over three feet of snow and below-freezing conditions until the end of April. We’ve already had snow on the ground for both Easter and Mother’s Day. The furnace is an essential piece of equipment. We spent a small fortune on an Energy Star, high-efficiency heating system featuring adaptable speed technology. We spent extra for the cost-saving luxury of zone control. Since we’re so often trapped inside the house, we want to be perfectly warm. It’s also important to keep our energy bills as low as possible. I am very conscientious about replacing air filters, scheduling professional maintenance and running the humidifier. I take extra precautions to create a healthy and comfortable living environment for my family.