4 ways to lower your heating bill this winter

By Personal FinanceFOXBusiness

It’s been a cold winter so far this year, with many parts of the country experiencing record low temperatures. And you know what that means: high heating bills. Joseph Todaro, the director of operations at Gold Medal Service, says with these simple steps, you can prevent the cold weather from freezing your wallet.

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64 DEGREES OF SEPARATION: Experts say you can easily reduce heating costs by dropping the temperature on your thermostat. Todaro says be mindful of how low you go.  “Never leave your temperature under 64 or 65 degrees. People want to save money on the bill, so they don’t put the temperature up too much. But then that counteracts with a high bill and the damage of a frozen or cracked pipe.”

LET THE SUNSHINE IN: When you can, take advantage of natural sunlight to heat your home. Open curtains and window coverings during the day. “If you have windows that are facing south, it is a great advantage on a sunny day to keep your blinds open,” says Todaro. “The sun will radiate heat and help with the warming of your home. “

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BRIDGING THE GAP: Todaro says weather stripping is one of the most inexpensive ways to lower energy bills and improve the comfort of your home. Block all gaps on windows and exterior doors to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from coming in. “Most people will turn the thermostat up instead of plugging leaks. With that, you are still uncomfortable and your bills will also be high.”

PUT A DAMPER ON YOUR DAMPER: If you have fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when not in use to prevent heat loss. Todaro says it’s also important to have your chimney inspected every couple of years. “At that time, have the contractor take a look at the damper system. Dampers should have a nice seal on them. A chimney will draw the heat out of your house, which obviously does not help with your comfort or utility bills."

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