It is hard to imagine any spot in the country that is immune to cold weather. Even in the sunniest states like Florida, California and Arizona, it can get downright chilly at night. Of course, just because you can crank up the heat it doesn’t mean that is always the best option especially when you’re heating a large space. If you have “sticker shock” every time the heating bill is delivered, then you’ll want to adapt some of these smart ways to lower your home heating bill:

Turn Down the Thermostat

This might seem like an obvious tip, but too often we’re lulled into the necessity to stay comfortably warm throughout the day and night while we are home. However, just turning down that thermostat by 2 degrees can save up to 6% on your energy bill. Would wearing a sweater be that bad? It might help to have a programmable thermostat installed that will turn down the heat to 61 degrees while you’re sleeping and ease it back up the 68 in the morning. This are also perfect for keeping things regulated while you’re at work. No need to heat the home if no one is home.

Bring in the Sun

Do you know which direction your house is facing? All the windows on the south and west facing side of the sun should have the blinds open during the day. This will let the sun warm up interior surfaces. Once the sun sets, close those blinds to keep that heat in. It can also help if you have thermal curtains up. And if there are trees or bushes blocking the sunlight, then consider getting them pruned back.

Control the Heat

How many rooms do you have in your home? Of that number, how many are “occupied” on a regular basis? Those should be the rooms that get the heat. It helps to keep doors closed while the heat is on so as not to force your heating system to work overtime. Many vents have dampers that allow you to direct the heat. The caution with these is not to attempt to shut off a room all together. That can cause built up pressure with your HVAC. Talk to your heating pro about balancing out the ducts.

Keep Heat Inside

Just because you’re a good neighbor doesn’t mean you have to heat the whole neighborhood. At lot of the heat in your home could literally be going right out of the window. This is why you want to make sure all entry points are utilizing weather stripping. Up in the attic, you should have the proper amount of insulation. Keep in mind that after several years, insulation can lose its effectiveness and needs to be replace. And if you have a fireplace that isn’t being used, be sure the damper is closed.

Keep Your System Maintained

A car’s engine has to work harder when it has clogged filters. The same can be said for your heating system. Be sure to swap out those filters ever couple of months. If you are using radiant heat, then get those radiators inspected before winter and don’t block them with furniture. Your hot water heaters need to be inspected and cleaned out once or twice each season. All of this upkeep helps keep your heating systems running at peak efficiency and that keeps the energy bills low.