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(curtesy of JULIE Inc.) With the temperatures going down, heating bills are on going up. According to ComEd, one of our members, here are a few tips to help keep your home warm in the cold winter days ahead.

snowmanTURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT – You can save 2 to 3% in energy costs for every degree you lower your thermostat around the clock. Lowering the heat from 72° to 65° for eight hours per day can save you as much as 10% on annual heating costs.

SEAL DRAFTY WINDOWS – Caulk any gaps and cracks around window frames. Be sure that windows are fully shut. Put up interior window plastic on poorly-sealed windows.

KEEP YOUR FURNACE OR BOILER IN SHAPE – Oil-fired systems need annual maintenance. Gas systems and heat pumps typically need a checkup every two years.

CLOSE FIREPLACE DAMPERS WHEN NOT IN USE – An open fireplace damper pulls warm air from the house. Be sure to close dampers after ashes have gone cold.

LET THE HEAT REACH YOU – Dust or vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters and furnace duct openings often and keep them free of obstructions like furniture, carpets and drapes.