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We’ve still got plenty of warm and mild weather to look forward to, but it never hurts to prepare! Find out how you can curb your monthly energy bill this winter by using a few of these somewhat unconventional tips.

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Seal your chimney with a...what?
Warm air will always travel upwards, so in homes that have chimneys, it’s inevitable that some warm air from inside will escape, even if the chimney flue is closed. So how can you stop the airflow if you’ve already closed the chimney? Luckily, there’s an innovative product called a chimney balloon that when inflated, sits at the top of your chimney and blocks warm air from getting out. They’re designed to fit almost any size chimney and can save hundreds on your heating bills!

Use the power of the sun
In the summer, closing your blinds during the day to block sunlight can lower indoor temperatures by as much as five degrees depending on the size of your home. So what should you do in the winter? That’s right – open your blinds and let the sun in! The rays from the sun can naturally warm your home by just a few degrees, which makes a big difference when added up over the months. Just be sure to close your blinds when the sun goes down to trap the warm air inside.

Lock them up!
We all know it’s important to close our windows and doors to keep the cold out, but locking them is even more effective. Locking your doors and windows creates a tight seal against the weatherstripping and blocks any type of airflow from occurring. Next time you close a window, put your hand up against the frame just before you lock it. You’ll definitely feel a difference!

Duct, duct, seal
According to Energy Star, 20 to 30 percent of the air in a home with forced heating is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Take a look at the ductwork in your attic or basement. Feel around and see if you notice any air that’s leaking and try to seal the cracks by tightening any surrounding screws or using an aluminum foil tape.

Less furnace, more electricity
For every degree you keep your thermostat under 70 degrees, you’ll save about three percent in energy costs. Keeping your thermostat at the lowest possible setting can be frugal, but setting it too low will leave you and your family feeling pretty chilly. To strike a perfect balance between comfort and savings, consider using a space heater in areas where you and your family gather, such as the living room or kitchen. The cost of purchasing and running a space heater in your home is a cost effective alternative if you can tolerate other areas in your home in the high or mid 60’s. Give it a try and find out what works best for you and your family!

Want to further prepare for the chilly months ahead? Give us a call and have your furnace checked to make sure it can last through the season before you encounter any problems, saving you time and money.

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