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How to Lower Your Heating Bills

For many of us, colder weather brings higher bills as we ratchet up our thermostats to keep the creeping fingers of winter from sneaking into our homes and chilling us to the bone. A drafty house or apartment can suck the money right out of your wallet. Just a few more degrees on the dial can add big bucks to your monthly heating costs as warm air slips out between the cracks and cold air rushes in to fill the gap. Here are some ideas on how to keep toasty, or at least save money trying: <strong>1. Insulate your windows.</strong> Drafty windows are winter’s worst nightmare, but there are a few different ways to curb heat loss without installing new windows. Draft stoppers are probably the most user-friendly option, although they provide only minimum protection. Rubber weather sealing kits and window insulation are more effective (especially when combined with a draft stopper), but can leave windows and paint the worse for wear, so follow instructions carefully. <strong>2. Use a space heater.    </strong> Space heaters can often provide more heat per dollar spent thanks to efficient design, especially if you heat with gas that can get costly in winter. They can also be moved around to provide heat where you need it most rather than paying to heat the entire house. <strong>3. Bundle up.</strong> Wearing an extra layer of clothing can make it easier to manage a lower setting on the thermostat. It’s not ideal, but thermal underwear, thick socks and a sweater are guaranteed to make you warmer for less. <strong>4. Try an electric blanket.</strong> You can save money at night by turning down the heat while you sleep and snuggling under an electric blanket. The downside comes with getting out of bed in the morning, but isn’t that always the case? <strong>5. Check your furnace filters.</strong> If your home or apartment uses a forced-air furnace, be sure to check your filters early on in the season. Dirty filters can block heated air, which results in you spending more on heat that’s not getting into your home. <strong>6. Be wary of fireplaces.</strong> Using a traditional fireplace to supplement your heat can do more harm than good. A fireplace sucks warm air out of the home as it keeps the fire ablaze, which acts to funnel heat out and away through the chimney. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes these tips help keep you warmer for less this winter.
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