4 quick ways to reduce your heating bill

"You don't have to sacrifice comfort for energy efficiency or energy savings," says Bob Chapman, an energy educator at EcoWorks. EcoWorks is a Detroit nonprofit that focuses on energy efficiency. 

He shares these four quick tips to reducing your heating bill:

1) Check your patio doors

"Patio doors, or walk-out doors, can often be a real problem because there's so much area that could be leaky. And one of the places that I see it often is at the bottom where, over time, weather stripping wears down," he says. 

He suggests putting plastic sheeting over the windows, or keep it covered with heavy drapery, especially if there's no sunlight to warm up the room. 

Cold air can also come in the cracks around your front door. Use weather stripping to keep it out. 

2) Know when to use your fireplace

Make sure the damper is closed so warm air doesn't escape up the chimney. 

"The rule of thumb is this. If it's below 20 degrees, don't use your fireplace because you are going to be losing more energy and more heat than you're gaining."

3) Change your furnace filter

It's recommended you change your furnace filter every few months, so your furnace doesn't have to work so hard to warm the air. 

4) Change your thermostat 

Consider getting a programmable thermostat, if you don't already have one. It can help save energy and money. 

Dial down the temperature when you go to bed or work, and pre-set a more comfortable temperature for when you wake up or return home. 

"Some people feel like, well, doesn't a furnace have to work just as hard to bring the temperature back up? And the answer is, two hours, and after that you're saving money."
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