If you’re like me, you like to have a plan, and you swear by your budget. When winter comes around, and the temperatures start to drop- that budget sometimes can fly right out the window unexpectedly. 

These low cost tips and tricks below, will help your home to become more energy efficient and affordable during the cold winter season. 

1. Close the damper

Do you have a fireplace? Be sure you get into the habit of closing the flue once the fire has cooled off. Cold air can enter your home from the chimney when you leave your damper open. 

2. Install a door sweep

This flexible piece of rubber (sometimes plastic) is held to the lower edge of the door by that small strip of aluminum. They work wonders to help stop drafts from entering your home. Be sure to install one on all exterior doors! 

3. Purchase a programmable thermostat

According to EnergyStar, a programmable thermostat can save up to $180 a year on fuel costs. Be sure to check with your gas and/or electric provider- as some of them offer credits towards purchasing your new thermostat. 

4. Replace Furnace Filters Monthly

Be sure to check and replace your filter every month. Dirty filters can reduce the efficiency and raise your heating bills. This also has a effect on the lifespan on your unit. 

5. Plug household leaks 

Take a tour around your home, Pay attention to windows, skylights, chimneys, vents and door frames. Grab a tube of caulk and foam sealer and be sure to fill and gaps/ cracks you find. Make note of any that may require professional assistance. 

EnergyStar.gov offers many other tips you may want to check out- to keep your cost low this winter. 

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