Don’t let this winter cost you an arm and a leg! Tips for keeping energy costs down this winter.

We’re New Englanders, we pride ourselves on many things, including our toughness in dealing with cold New England winters. In fact, many of us consider it a badge of honor to wait as long as we can before turning the heat on. Regardless of when you turn the heat on, the weather is changing and you will have to turn it on eventually. Here are some tips to keeping the heating bills down as much as possible this winter.

-Consider having an energy audit done by an organization like Mass Save. They will send a professional out to evaluate your home and make recommendations for ways to conserve energy. Often they will bring freebies like lightbulbs and surge protectors.

-Use the sun for free heat! Now is a good time to find the south side of your house if you don’t know it already. Open the south facing window curtains during the day to steal some heat from the sun. Close them after the sun goes down to keep heat in.

-Adjust your thermostat to allow the temperature to go down overnight or when you are going to be out all day. You can save about 10% of your heating cost annually by setting it 10-15 degrees lower for 8 hours a day.

-Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better so a humidifier can make you feel warmer even when you have the heat set at a lower temperature. Having plants in your home has the same effect.

-Keep your furnace clean and unblocked. A clean system will run more efficiently. Check your furnace filter monthly and replace it when it gets dirty.

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