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Heat your home without getting burned

Installing attic insulation can save you an average of $232 per year on heating costs. For more information, or to have energy-saving measures installed in your home, contact Alfred Chevalier at Total Action for Progress (TAP), 540.283.4879.

It's cold out there and time to start cranking up that furnace or heat pump. But before you do, keep in mind a few simple things you can do to keep your winter heating bills down.

Check Your Windows: Check all windows for gaps. In some cases, upper window panes in newer windows may slide down slightly, leaving a space for heat to escape. As a house settles over the years, other gaps may appear around the window. Seal with a insulating tape or putty that you can remove in the summer.

Close Vents: If you have an older, multi-story home, you may have an air conditioning unit in your attic that blows cooled air out of ceiling vents. Make sure these vents are closed for the winter to keep warm air from escaping into them.

Weatherstrip Doors: On a particularly cold day, you might feel a draft around doors leading into the house or unconditioned spaces in your home, such as an attic, basement, or mudroom. Use an insulating tape to block the gap around your doorframe and keep that warm air inside.

Schedule Maintenance: Just like your car, your furnace or heat pump needs regular maintenance and cleaning to keep in top shape. Schedule a regular maintenance check on your equipment to make sure it's in good working order.

The links, ideas and resources on this site can help you save money. There's even an energy-saving calculator to keep track of your results.

But it's not just about putting more green in your pocket. By making simple changes in how you live and work, you'll help to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in the Roanoke Valley.

So, go ahead, save a ton. Then share your successes and hints on our Facebook page.