CHESAPEAKE, Va. - As temperatures drop, your heating bill may be going up, but it doesn't have to.
Our News 3 Problem Solvers are sharing how to keep your money from blowing out the front door. Consumer Anchor Erin Miller spent the day with Andrew Tucker from Russell’s Heating Cooling Plumbing & Electric.
He said homeowners and renters can start by making small changes at the thermostat.
"If you're going to change the temperature of your thermostat to save money, the ballpark that you want to keep it is within a couple degrees because you don't want your system trying to catch back up all the time," he said.
You may decide to keep the temperature at 68 degrees while you're at work and then bump it to 70 degrees when you get home.
Not far from thermostats, Tucker said, are your air filters. He said they breathe like we do, so it's important to change them regularly. He noted that a dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, and you'll end up paying more.
Another simple way to save is sealing any doors or windows that feel drafty. If you feel the cool air with your hand, grab weather stripping and stick it to the inside of the door frame.
You can also try a draft protector for underneath the door, which cost about $15 on Amazon.
"It simply slides under a door and it's going to keep that air loss from leaving the room," Tucker said.
You can also roll up a towel and slide it against the door to provide the same draft protection.
"It all adds up so if you have a little leak here and a little leak out of a window and another out of a door, what you're really doing is adding those leaks up to what could be the equivalent of leaving a window cracked open," he said. Overtime that can really add up.
Next, Tucker brought our attention to the blinds.
"[Blinds are] actually a super easy way to let the sun warm your house," Tucker said. "If it's cold outside and you've got nice and bright and sunny outside, you're going to let that radiant heat come into the house and help warm it up," Tucker said.
Make sure to close them at night to insulate your home.
Maintenance is also incredibly important. Tucker said if you have either a furnace or heat pump, having the system cleaned at least once a year will save you close to 30% on your utilities.