It happens to almost all of us this time of year. You go to pay the gas or electric bill, and suddenly you're shocked to see how much the charges have gone up in just a few months.
However, if you make a few small changes, it could help to get those costs under control.
Wilber Doonan with Wilber's Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning in Trussville, suggests turning your heat down a few degrees when you leave the house. If you're willing to make the investment, a programmable thermostat will do that for you.
"You don't want to drop the temperature or raise it, when you're not home, more than two to three degrees. Because if you do, you're having to reheat or re-cool the walls or everything back down," said Doonan.
Doonan also suggests lowering the thermostat when you go to sleep at night and layering extra blankets on your bed to stay warm.
"Just typically two to three degrees lower then what your comfortable at during the day," he said.
It's also important to make sure your house is properly insulated, especially in the attic. Do a quick survey of your home to make sure you don't see any cracks or gaps.
"Doors, windows, even around electric wall plugs you'll get a lot of air coming in there," said Doonan.
Finally, don't forget about the damper on your fireplace. Be sure to close it when it's not being used.
"Oh, that's real important because as the heat rises, that's sucking the air out of your house," said Doonan.
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