Comfort takes center stage each fall and winter. As people look to stay warm, many may be quick to turn up the thermostat, so their entire home is toasty warm. But much like cranking air conditioners during the dog days of summer, turning up the thermostat each time the winds begin blowing can prove costly for homeowners.

Due to Covid-19, many people are still working from home full-time, while even those who aren’t are no doubt spending more of their free time at home. All those hours spent at home figure to an increase in heating bills as the temperatures go down.

Finding ways to save on heating costs will no doubt prove a priority for many homeowners, and the following are some ways to do just that.

Let the sun in during the day

There’s a reason the family cat likes to nap in sunbeams – the sun is a fantastic source of free heat. By opening your curtains and blinds during the daytime, you take advantage of the greenhouse effect and allow the sun to naturally heat your home.

Close the curtains at night

Unfortunately, windows can also be a source of heat loss, as they are not as well insulated as your walls. Close your curtains and blinds when the sun goes down to prevent cold chills from cooling your home. Consider purchasing insulated curtains to maximize the energy efficiency of your windows.

Add insulation

Extra insulation throughout the house can dramatically reduce home heating (and cooling) costs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, adding insulation in attics, crawl spaces, and basement rim joists can help homeowners save as much as 15 percent on heating costs.

Lower the temperature on your water heater

After heating and cooling systems, water heaters are the second highest source of energy usage in the home. It takes a lot of energy to heat water, and most people have the thermostat on their water heater set way too high.

Your water heater heats water to a set temperature, then maintains that temperature 24/7. That means that your water heater just cycles on and off, continually reheating water to that temperature, whether you use it or not.

Close the flue on your fireplace

Fireplaces can keep a home’s inhabitants warm, but only when they’re in use. When they’re not being used, fireplaces can allow heat to escape a home. So when the fireplace is not being used, close the flue to prevent heat from escaping the house. Keeping all windows and doors closed throughout the day is another way to prevent unnecessary heat loss.

Have your HVAC system serviced before winter begins

Inefficient HVAC systems cost homeowners considerable amounts of money each year. Annual maintenance performed by a certified HVAC professional can ensure filters are clean and operating at peak efficiency, saving homeowners the costly trouble of having to turn up the thermostat to overcome dirty systems.

Stay warm With clothes and blankets

It’s much more cost effective to warm your body than your house. Keep the thermostat low and compensate by wearing a nice sweater and warm socks around the house. Stay toasty at night under a thick blanket, comforter, or duvet.   If you’re concerned about keeping your pets warm, consider buying a doggie sweater for your pooch. Sweaters are not recommended for cats. Not only do cats hate clothing, but they also seem to have a natural ability to find the warmest spot in the house anyway.

After using the oven, leave the door ajar

Heating your home entirely with your oven would be an impractical waste of energy. However, if you’re using it anyway, there’s no sense in letting that heat go to waste. After taking dinner out of the oven, leave the door cracked open and allow that extra heat to escape and warm your kitchen.