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My Top 10 Ways to Help You Save Money on Your Utility Bills

10. Turn down your thermostat. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting.

9. Furnace maintenance/tune ups. Now is also the time for a furnace "tune-up." Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5 percent of heating costs.

8. Reduce hot water heater temperature. Set your water heater to the "normal" setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit, unless the owner's manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7-11 percent of water heating costs.

7. Seal up the leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up. Caulk works best on small gaps. Your hardware store should have products to close the larger gaps.

6. Flush your water heater a minimum of once a year. This removes a lot of the scale and sediment that forms in the bottom. Studies have shown that just a ½" of scale can reduce efficiencies by 25-30%.

5. Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air. The air inside your home can be very dry, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable even though your thermostat is set at a lower temperature.

4. Open south-facing window curtains, drapes, and blinds during the day. Close window coverings at night to keep the heat in.

3. Seal exposed ductwork. Ductwork sealing can help your system run more efficiently, and also ensures that heated or cooled air gets to where you want it to go. Instead of duct tape, use mastic (available at hardware stores) to seal ductwork. Mastic provides a better seal and lasts longer.

2. Replace older or loose fireplace dampers. Have a sheet-metal insert installed, which will prevent some heat loss and help reflect heat from the fireplace back into the room.

1. Replace furnace filters a minimum of every three months, especially if you have pets. A dirty or clogged filter will demand more energy and slow down the heating process. Make sure your furnace and hot water heater are properly ventilated.

We hope these tips help you and your family save some money on your utility bills. Please let us know if we can help you in any way,

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