The winter months are here, and with that comes a drop in the temperature resulting in what could be a costly heating bill.

It can be quite the conflict on whether to dial down the thermostat, or keep a toasty temperature and have a hefty bill come in the mail. In order to save a few dollars here are a few ways to keep a warm home and money in the bank.

Free ways to keep the heating bill down:
1. Throw on an extra sweater or blanket, and turn down the thermostat by a couple degrees.
2. Check the furnace filter on a regular basis; it will keep the furnace running properly.
3. Avoid heating rooms that aren’t being used by closing the door.
4. Use a wood-burning fireplace.
5. Open the blinds on sunny days to let heat in, and keep them closed at night to keep heat in.
6. Try not to use space heaters, they will run up the electrical bill, and pose the threat of fires.

Inexpensive ways to keep the heating bill down:
1. Put a throw rug on the floor, it will help insulate the floors.
2. Buy a programmable thermostat, and set it to a lower temperature when no one is home and at night.
3. Make sure the right amount of insulation is installed.
4. Winterize windows by putting a plastic film over the window.
5. Install weather-stripping to the doors and windows that are letting in the cold air.

Long-term investments to keep the heating bill down:
1. Replace windows and doors.
2. Purchase a new furnace.
3. Get the ducts looked at, and fix if necessary.

Once in a while the inevitable has to be faced, and a more expensive option is the best one to go with. In the long run the investment will give a return, sometimes money has to be spent to save money. Try out some of these tips to keep the heat inside, the cold outside and money in the bank.