Northern Virginia temperatures have turned cold. Is your home winter-ready? This year, why not practice energy efficient heating and stay warm at the same time? Here are five tips to keep cold weather heating bills in check until spring arrives to melt the ice:

Use Space Heaters

Keep your thermostat setting at 68 degrees, and use space heaters to warm up only the rooms you use most. For every thermostat degree below 70, you’ll save 3 percent on monthly heating bills. Although space heaters do use electricity, a 1500 watt space heater will only cost you about 14 cents an hour.

Seal And Insulate Your Duct Work

Did you know that leaky ducts can lower home heating efficiency by up to 20 percent? According to Energy Star, sealing and insulating your duct work can lower HVAC energy costs significantly. If you’re planning to replace your heating or cooling system soon, getting your duct work cleaned and insulated might allow you to downsize to a smaller and less expensive unit.

Install Energy Efficient Windows

Maintaining energy efficiency in your home is much easier with energy efficient windows. They can lower your annual heating expenses by up to 15 percent. You can also lower your home heating costs by installing storm windows, adding heavy, insulated drapes and applying weatherstripping and caulking to windows to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Add A Programmable Thermostat

You can buy a programmable thermostat for under $100 and set it to automatically lower temperatures while you’re sleeping or away from home. A programmable thermostat, used properly, can save you up to 15 percent on home heating and cooling costs every year.

Close And Seal The Fireplace Damper

Contrary to popular belief, some wood burning fireplaces do not reduce home heating costs. And if the damper is left open, your fireplace will suck heated air right out of your house and send it up the chimney.

Want to learn how annual heating maintenance can also keep your Northern Virginia home snug and cozy this winter? Visit the HVAC energy efficiency experts at Commonwealth Cooling & Heating or call (703) 436-8028.