Winter is here in full force – and winter weather means your heating system will be working harder to keep you warm.  Check out these simple ways to conserve energy around the home and make sure your heating system is operating efficiently.

Clean or replace furnace filters as recommended.  A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.

Set your thermostat as low as comfortable in the winter.  Programmable thermostats are a big help, and if you invest in a smart thermostat like Nest or Ecobee you can turn your heat setting down even if you forget to do so before leaving the house thanks to their phone apps!  You may also qualify for a free thermostat, a rebate or a bill credit from your electric provider when using one of these thermostats.

LED lights are energy efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs. Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy efficient LED lights.

Clean air registers and baseboard heaters and make sure they are not blocked by furniture or drapes.  There’s no sense in keeping the back of your couch warm instead of the room!

Speaking of drapes, open drapes and shades on south-facing windows during the day to allow the sunlight to enter and close at night to reduce the cold coming in.

Seal air leaks to keep the heat in and the cold out. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows; seal air leaks around chimneys, plumbing, ducts or wiring around walls, floors, and ceilings.  This will also help keep rodents from sneaking into your house to keep warm.

Operate ceiling fans in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air down into the room.

Wash clothes with cold water. Ninety percent of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating the water, but most clothes don’t require hot water to get clean.

Following these tips will not only save energy, you’ll also save money!