Are you ready for winter?

Check out these easy tips for saving energy when it’s cold out

Seal the leaSnowy-Houseks and close the gaps. Caulk, seal and weatherstrip doors and windows.

Keep it shut. Traditional fireplaces are an energy loser because they pull heated air out of the house and release it up the chimney. When not in use, keep the damper closed. Make sure there are no smoldering embers before closing the damper.

Turn fans off. Kitchen and bath-ventilating fans can blow out a house-full of heated air if left on. Turn them off after they’ve done their job.

Replace your furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Changing or cleaning your filter once a month helps your bill and the quality of air you breathe.

Schedule a furnace “tune-up.” Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use.

Install a programmable thermostat. Or program the one you already have. Set it so your heating costs will go down when you are away or asleep. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60 to 70 degree range, you’ll save up to 5 percent on heating costs.

Get a home energy assessment. To get the facts about how your home is using energy and where you could save by making improvements, get a home energy assessment. Program certified contractors can identify how much energy your home uses and recommend improvements that will help save money and increase comfort. Rebates may be available for insulation and air sealing projects.

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