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Fall and Winter can be beautiful and fun seasons, but they always signal the end of summer and warm weather.  Now that you are either considering turning on your furnace, or if you already have, use our tips to save on your heating bill so you have more money for apple cider now and gifts for the holidays later.

Set Your Thermostat Between 68 – 70 during the Day and Lower at Night

When lowering your homes temperature, you can save 3% per degree lowered over a 24-hour period. This means if you are currently heating your house above 70 degrees during the time you are at home, you can make a substantial difference in your heat bill. When you are not at home setting your thermostat even lower can slash your bill by another 5% – 15%. Buying a programmable thermostat can help you raise and lower your thermostat on a schedule.  When it comes to lowering your thermostat in the evening while you are asleep, not only will you save money you can also sleep better as well.  The Mayo Clinic and The Sleep Foundation both suggest keeping your home at a cool 63 – 66 degrees when you are resting for optimally sleep.

Use Window Coverings to Your Advantage

By strategically raising and lowering window coverings, you can make a big difference in your heating bill. Sun shining through a window can raise the temperature in that room by a few degrees.  Raise/open your window coverings when the sun is coming through to help heat the room, and lower them when it’s not to help hold heat in. Certain window coverings, such as plantation shutters and opaque shades, are also proven to help lower your heating costs by adding a layer of insulation to your window.

Close off Vents Strategically

There is no reason to pay to heat rooms that are rarely if ever used.  Close the vents to rooms you aren’t using, and keep the door to those rooms closed, to slash your heating bill. Simply open them a few hours before using the room to being the temperature of the room back up.

Keep Vents and Filters Clean

Furnaces with dirty vents and filters have to work overtime to heat the rooms they are connected to.  By making sure to routinely clean the vents and replacing filters every six months, you can make sure your furnace is working at optimal efficiency.

Use Draft Blockers

Drafty doors and windows can help contribute to high heating costs, but there is a simple fix.  Draft blockers can be purchased from stores such as Target, Wal-Mart or Amazon to lay in front of gaps and keep the cold air out.  You can also DIY a draft blocker by filling large tube stocks with beans, sand, or kitty litter for insulation.

Check the Rotation of Your Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are designed to turn clockwise in the summer to draw heat upwards, and counterclockwise in the winter to push the heat back towards the floor. Because heat rises, making sure your fan is rotating in the proper direction can allow you to keep the thermostat a little lower.

Try a Humidifier

Using a humidifier can reduce your heating costs because moist air retains heat better than dry air. There are other benefits to using a humidifier as well: they reduce static electricity (and annoying winter time shocks!), help moisturize dry skin, and make it easier to breathe.