When you are chilly, it can be tempting to turn up the furnace to its maximum, but not only will that jack up your heating bills, it isn’t good for the environment. By making your home’s heating system more energy efficient, you’ll be warmer, but keep your energy bills affordable.

You can install a programmable thermostat or use zone heating to help you tailor your heating needs around your use pattern. You can also turn it down a couple of degrees and wear a sweater instead. Here are some home maintenance tasks to take on before winter is fully here in Ontario, CA that will help you to conserve and be warm.

Caulk Windows

In terms of return on investment for money and time, placed against savings on your heating bills, caulking your windows is tops.

Inspect windows for loose seals and replace as needed. It’s a good idea to tend to gaps around your doorways at the same time. You can close those off using weather-stripping.

Closing the gaps is one your most cost-effective ways to reduce your heating bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can expect to recoup the cost of caulking and weather-stripping within a year because of the savings on your bills.

Ceiling Fans Year-Round

Just because it is getting cold outside doesn’t mean that you should turn off your ceiling fans. In fact, leaving your ceiling fans on can help reduce your heating bills.

Hot air rises, so a ceiling fan will catch the air on its way up and send it back down into the room, giving your furnace a break. You do need to switch directions though.

In the summer, it is usually set for counter-clockwise. Reverse that for clockwise in the winter. The one exception to this is if you’ve got cathedral or tall vaulted ceilings; with that height leave the fan running clockwise.

Window Insulation Tips

Glass is a porous material, which means that warm air easily escapes through window panes. To start, replace any cracked panes.

For extra insulation, apply window film over your windows. This is an easy DIY job.

Window insulation kits are readily available at most hardware stores.

To put in place, line the film up and tape to the window frame. You apply heat with a hairdryer and then mold it so that it is form-fitting against the window.