Nothing beats a warm house on a cold winter’s day. But if you’re not efficiently managing your heat, you may be in for a shock come bill time. Keep your house warm and avoid these mistakes to help cut down on energy cost and increase your energy efficiency.

1. Don’t blast your heat

All furnaces operate at one speed. Cranking up the heat to get it to heat up faster does nothing except have the system run longer to hit that high temperature. Set it to the desired temperature and relax.

2. Don’t forget to change your air filters

Having blocked air filters can cause a decrease in airflow to your furnace which can slow down the process of heating your home. This slowdown means an increase in energy usage and increase in money spent to heat your home. Most air filters need to be changed every 90 days so put a note in your calendar or set an alarm in your phone to remind you to change it.

3. Not locking your windows

Once you crank or slide your window closed, it’s closed right? Wrong. Locking your window plays an integral part in ensuring your home is sealed tight. Cold air can slip in without the seal of locking your window causing your home to require more energy usage.

4. Not repairing drafts

Drafts under door jambs and leaks in window seals can all lead to cold air leaking into your house. And that just defeats the purpose and makes your furnace work harder to keep your house warm. Go around and seal up all leaks and install new seals on your doors to ensure a snug seal and a warm house.

5. Don’t ignore your smart thermostat

Smart thermostats are great. They help manage your heating and cooling for you and have the potential to save you money and energy. However, installing a smart device and never checking in on it can lead to unnecessary heating. Check in on it every so often to make sure that it’s operating efficiently.

6. Don’t heat your entire house

Heating your whole house when you only use a few rooms is a waste. Close vents in rooms that you hardly use so that the heat is directed to rooms you need to be heated. This will help cut down dramatically on how long it takes to heat your house and ultimately how much you spend on heating your home.

Winter can be a season with high utility bills but following a few of these simple tips can keep you and your family warm without draining your wallet.