With area temperatures just above freezing, the colder than average has us turning up our termostats. But before you turn up the heat, check out these simple tips to make sure that staying warm doesn’t break the bank!

Weather-Proof Your Home

To make sure you get the most out of your heater, make sure the vents around your home are clear of dust and another debris, and aren’t blocked by furniture or rugs. For those of you with a fire place, make sure the fire damper is closed when not in use. As tempted as you may be to sit by the fire and sip hot chocolate on these cold winter nights, know that lighting a fire often suck the heat out of a room. Save the fire for nights when temperatures aren’t so low.

Turn It Down

Turn down your thermostat 10 degrees when you leave the house and again before you go to bed. This can save you up to 3% on your total heating bill. Also be sure to turn down your water heater. Heating water requires a lot of energy and most standard water heaters should be reduced to 115-120 degrees. Don’t worry, chances are you won’t notice any different in water temperature. Also, consider washing clothes in cold water only. This can save you around 3 cents per load, which can really add up to serious savings throughout the year.

Wrap It Up

Invest in a water heater insulator. These jackets are a lot cost solution to improving heating costs and ensure the life of your water heater. This is an especially good idea if your water heater is outside or in a garage. Also be aware of places where heat maybe escaping your home. Caulk up drafty windows and consider adding curtains to keep the heat indoors. Another problem area are the space under doors. Using sweeps (that go under your door and close the gap between the door and the flood) will make a huge difference in making your home feel warm and cozy.