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Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill This Winter

The late fall chills are a sign that winter is just around the corner. As the colder months approach us, our heating bill inevitably rises. Since efficient heating is important to your health and happiness, it’s hard to avoid it all together. However, you can take action to reduce your heating bill this winter.

First, you should clean and check your heating systems. Much like cleaning out your air conditioner right before summer, late fall is the best time to do so with your heating system. Check that your heat pump, furnace and stoves are all operating properly and replace and clean any filters. This makes sure that your heat will come out efficiently. If you have an old heating system, it may be time to invest is a new one, since older versions are less competent than newer versions. This will ultimately cut your heating bill a bit and increase the value of your home in the long run.

Next, you want to make sure that the heat you are getting from your system stays in your home. Sealing your windows and doors properly is the best way to do this. Windows and doors that have holes or leaks will release heat and raise your bill each month. You may need to replace a window altogether if the cracks and leaks are bad enough. However, you can usually seal up cracks on your own or with the help of a contractor. You may want to have your home properly insulated as well, since this can help your home from losing heat.

Turn the heat down when you are away or sleeping. Since most people sleep better in cooler conditions, turn your heat down slightly at nighttime. Those 8 hours can save some money on your bill each month. When you are away from your home during the day or for an extended period of time (such as a vacation or weekend trip), turn the heat down as well. There’s no need to keep your house warm when you aren't there! Consider buying a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to worry about lowering the heat on your own.

You can also turn down the thermostat on your water heater a small amount to save some money without a noticeable difference. Generally, it shouldn't be set any higher than 125 degrees. If your water heater is old, you may want to install a water heater blanket or look into getting a new and more efficient one in the future. You can also insulate the pipes around the water heater.

Use curtains to your advantage. Opening curtains during sunny days allows the solar radiation to warm your room. At night, closing curtains helps the heat from escaping and the cold air from coming in.

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