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5 ways to save on your heating bill this winter

SPONSORED — You don’t need the local weather report to tell you: Baby, it’s cold outside.

In fact, according to weather.com, the Pacific Northwest saw one of its earliest snowfalls on record in early November, and chances are, that wintry weather will be here for quite a while. As anyone with a thermostat knows, as the thermometer drops, your heating bill rises. Chances are, you could use those hard-earned dollars on something other than keeping cozy. If you want to stay warm and save a little dough, there are some easy ways to keep your hot air without going broke.

Open up

When the weather outside is frightful, you’re likely to shut the windows tight and draw the blinds. But if you have south-facing windows, keep the curtains up during daylight hours to take advantage of the sun’s natural warmth. Of course, once the sun goes down, those uncovered windows will just exacerbate the chill in the air, so remember to draw the curtains or close the blinds once evening sets in, which is pretty early this time of year.

Turn it back

Everyone loves a warm, cozy home in the dead of winter, but perhaps you should ask yourself the question: If your home is warm and no one is there to enjoy it, is it really warm at all?
If you have a thermostat you can schedule, set it for 10 to 15 degrees cooler while you’re at work or otherwise out of the house. To make sure the whole family stays toasty, schedule the heat to kick into action 20 to 30 minutes before you get home.

Get cozy

While you’re setting your thermostat’s schedule, consider letting the temperature dip during the time you spend in the warmest, coziest spot in your home — your bed. Invest in a nice down comforter and enjoy the old-fashioned way of keeping warm. And don’t feel like you need a blanket fit for the Arctic. Sleeping in a cooler room is actually pretty beneficial for you. Not only can cooler temps help you fall asleep and stay asleep better, but according to The Huffington Post, a cooler room can also give you a metabolism boost.

Secure the doors

Can you see daylight under your doors? If so, they’re likely not sealed correctly, and they’re more than likely letting some of the cold January air inside, allowing that expensive heated air to escape. One simple way to secure your doors is to replace the threshold. This is a relatively simple job you can handle in an afternoon with a few screws and a trip to the hardware store. Of course, a handyman can get you covered quickly as well.

Invest in a new system

If your heating system is 15 to 20 years old, you’re likely paying more (year after year) than you need to. That’s because today’s heat systems are incredibly efficient. Chances are, you’ll pay for your new system with the money you save on your heat bill in just a few years. Additionally, upgrading your home from a furnace to a heat pump adds a few extra perks like air conditioning for the hot summer months. Add a smart thermostat to the new system and you’ll whittle your bill down lower than the thermometer reading outside.

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