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Ask Charles: Heat your home without running up your bill this winter

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The winter months are upon us, and that means it’s time for some heat. Unfortunately, all too often, cranking up the heat can mean cranking up your energy bill, which never feels good to your wallet, no matter how warm and toasty you get this season. Follow some of these tips and tricks to keeping your energy bill from skyrocketing while staying warm.

1) Check your windows and doors

From worn weatherstripping around your doors and windows to the thresholds of your doors, if you are constantly letting cold air sneak into your house, you are wasting energy turning the heat up higher to combat drafts of cold air getting in. In fact, seven to 12 percent of a home's heat loss occurs around windows and doors, according to Black Hills Energy. To fight the drafts, double check the weatherstripping around your doors and replace it if it is too worn. As for door thresholds, if you can see the light coming through underneath your door, that means cold air is getting into your home as well. To fix that, turn one or more of the four or five screws that are typically in the threshold, counterclockwise until daylight is mostly gone.

2) Give your furnace a check-up

Give your furnace a check up at the beginning of the season to make sure it is operating as it is intended to with no issues. Consider a tune-up that includes a furnace check, necessary preventative maintenance, and identifying parts that may need to be repaired or replaced, all of which is not easy for an untrained eye to catch on their own. More importantly, a heating maintenance professional can find any gas or carbon monoxide leaks before it is too late, keeping your family safe. Some furnace warranties sometimes require yearly checkups and regular maintenance, so make sure you know what your warranty includes.

3) Let the sun shine

Even in the winter, the sunshine can keep things warm. Keep your south-facing shades open, and blinds pulled up throughout the day to let the natural heat from the sun into your home. Doing this will help you keep your home warmer during the day, saving you some money.

4) Heat just the rooms you use

A creative way to save money trying to heat your home this winter is to only heat the rooms in your home that you use or are currently in. If you are spending a lazy Saturday watching movies in the living room all day, there’s no reason for the bedrooms or dining room to be toasty warm too. Consider turning the heat down low and using a space heater to heat the room. Space heaters range in price from $15+ and by reducing your furnace temperature, you will save on your energy bill, offsetting the cost of using the space heater, and even some extra.

Take some of these tips into consideration as you brave the cold winter and look to Charles for all of your heating needs. If you ever need a check-up on your furnace or if you find yourself in an emergency situation, our 24 hour emergency service is available any day, at any time - (315) 457-6911.