Here in Atlanta, our air conditioners seem to work a whole lot harder than our heaters in the course of a year. But our occasional warm winter days don’t mean you can jack up your heat and still expect low monthly energy costs. With a bitter winter ahead of us, here are 10 tips for staying warm without breaking the bank before the spendiness of the holiday season!

1. Harness Solar Energy – We don’t mean install solar panels… although those could result in some awesome savings over time! A simpler solution to gathering solar heat, however, is opening up the blinds and letting in the sun. Even in the winter, the sun’s rays will make your home a little warmer in the afternoons.

2. Seal Up Drafty Doors and Windows – Under the door and around the windows are frequently under-insulated spots. Fortunately, these drafty zones can be easily fixed with caulk, tape or weather stripping.

3. Drink Hot Cocoa – If you’re really feeling the chill but don’t want to bump up your thermostat’s temperature, have a hot drink to warm up. If cocoa’s not really your cup of tea you might try a bowl of soup or, well, a cup of tea instead.

4. Set the Thermostat to 70 Degrees (Or Lower!) – Having the AC set to only come on in the high seventies can save you boatloads of money in the summer. Similarly, selecting a lower temp for the winter will let you keep more cash in your wallet.

5. Get a Cool Night’s Sleep – Having your thermostat on a schedule that automatically lowers the temperature at night will also conserve energy. Since it’s coldest at night, that’s when your heater is working the hardest. But with warm bed linens and layers of blankets, it doesn’t have to be!

6. Don’t Slack on HVAC Maintenance – Scheduling service appointments for every change of season will keep everything shipshape.

7. Always Close Your Fireplace Damper – Whenever there isn’t a fire lit, the chimney should be closed or else your home’s heat can travel right up to the roof! Make sure the damper is only open when it needs to be.

8. Learn About LEDs – Sometime holiday lights rather than holiday heating are what use the most energy. LED lights last longer and soak up far less energy than conventional bulbs.

9. Examine Your Water Heater – Most modern water heaters have a ma temp setting. If you’ve never picked a maximum temperature, you could be wasting power (and water) by running scolding-hot water during everyday tasks.

10. Consider New Systems – If nothing seems to be helping with your energy costs, it could mean you have an inefficient or outdated system. Look into newer, greener models at Atlanta Air Care in Powder Springs.