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7 ways to stay warm and save money this winter


This story is sponsored by Dominion Energy. Learn more about Dominion Energy.

It’s that time of year when we trade our flip-flops for boots, sunglasses for scarves and air-conditioning for heat. But a toasty warm house doesn’t have to mean a bill that makes you sweat. Here are some simple tips to help you save money this fall and winter.

1. Annual professional checkup

You should have your furnace or boiler inspected annually by a licensed heating professional. Doing so will confirm your furnace is properly adjusted for altitude and working correctly to heat your home all season long. A properly tuned furnace helps ensure your safety and saves energy.

2. Don’t forget your filter

A quick and easy way to save money and keep your furnace running smoothly is to check your furnace filter and replace it if necessary. When changing your filter, be sure it’s facing the proper direction by following the arrows printed along the side. This will help maximize efficiency and keep your furnace running strong.

3. Keep the heat in

Installing weather stripping around your doors will keep heat where you want it — in your house. There are different types of weather stripping, but no matter which one you choose it only takes minutes to install. Apply to each side and the top of doorways that share a side with the outdoors. You’ll stay cozy and save money on your gas bill.

4. Rearrange your furniture

Did you miss out on the feng shui craze? Well, now’s your chance to make up for lost time. Blocked vents mean poor air-flow, which also means an overworked furnace. Move furniture, drapes and anything else obstructing air ducts and cold-air returns.

5. Turn on your fan

During the colder months, running your ceiling fan may sound crazy, but it can actually help keep you warm. Heat rises, so run your fan the opposite direction to re-circulate the hot air back down into your living space.

6. Add to your attic

There’s more to your attic than old junk — proper insulation can save you major bucks in heating costs. Imagine your attic as the lid to your house — without adequate insulation, heat easily escapes. Adding insulation means more heat in your home and more money in your pocket.

7. Get with the program

Take a few minutes to program your thermostat — you’ll be glad you did. Set the temperature so it goes down at night after you’ve gone to bed and then back up to a comfortable level during the day. Better yet, install a smart thermostat that adjusts to your living patterns and can be controlled from your phone.

Following these simple tips will only take a little time but will have a big impact. Conserving energy improves air quality, reduces greenhouse-gas emissions, prevents climate change and creates a healthier environment. Not only will you be saving energy, you’ll also be saving money.

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