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Five ways to save on your energy costs this winter

From adjusting the thermostat to opening up the window blinds, Amanda Jaeger breaks down some ways to save on energy costs this winter.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Now that winter has officially started, the heat is on in our homes. Here are 5 easy ways to save on your energy costs this year according to the U.S. Department of Energy:

Adjust the temperature of your home throughout the day

When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as you can while still being comfortable. While you're asleep or out of the house for work, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° degrees.

Doing that for eight hours each day can save you around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. 

A smart or programmable thermostat can make that process easier and more manageable.

Take advantage of heat from the sun

Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day. That allows sunlight to offer some extra heat in the home. 

Just make sure to close them at night because of the chill from cold windows.

Speaking of windows; cover all drafty windows

That cold air coming in from drafty windows can make a big difference. Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames. 

Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame.

Lower your water heating costs

Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). 

You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid painful heat on your hands.

Maintain your heating systems

Schedule services for your heating systems to keep any problems at bay. Do this sooner than later to help prevent major issues and repair costs. 

As you spend more time at home during this pandemic, you want everything in working order.

For more tips, click here.