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Tips for reducing your home heating bill this winter

By HILARY LANE

YORKVILLE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Whether you are ready or not, winter is right around the corner.

While prices for natural gas, heating oil, and other fuels are expected to remain relatively stable, the cold weather expected this season means it will take more energy, and more money, to keep your home warm.

Experts suggest turning on your heating system now to make sure it is working properly in order to prevent shivering on a freezing cold night later on if the system is broken.

However, before turning on your furnace for the season, make sure it is clean and the filter is changed.

If you can't or don't want to do it yourself, contact a local heating and cooling company for a tune-up.

"A cleaner furnace will run better than a dirty furnace," said Paul Collis of Collis Heating and Cooling. "It's like changing oil in your car. If you don't do it every 3,000 miles, your car is going to be a little dirtier and it's not going to be as efficient."

If you are looking to save some money, try adjusting your thermostat at different times of the day.

"At nighttime, say you go to sleep at 10 o'clock at night. You don't have to heat your house at 70 degrees at night, so you can set it down 66 degrees," said Collis.

Reducing the temperature by just one degree for an eight hour period can shave up to 5 percent off of your home heating bill.

Most importantly, never turn your heating system below 55 degrees in the wintertime. That could result in freezing pipes, an expensive and aggravating problem to fix.

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