Colder weather means higher bills, this is something you can count on every year. Our online energy account has a list of home energy saving tips to help us save some money on our electric bills. One energy saving tip is to utilize the use of the “auto” feature on the thermostat setting on central furnaces. Also, to help save money, keep the outside heating, ventilation and a/c device free of yard debris, leaves and especially drifting snow. Inside the home, never switch a heat pump to the “emergency heat” setting on the thermostat, other than if it were malfunctioning. That switch will turn off your heat pump and will cause the use of the backup electric or gas furnace, possibly doubling your heating costs. Another tip is to make sure your windows and doors are well sealed and insulated. Also make sure to keep your fireplace damper closed when it is not being used. If you are a regular user of the fireplace, as I am, consider installing doors over the fireplace opening to reduce drafts and heat going out through the chimney, let’s face it, who doesn’t like sitting next to a fireplace in the chilly months, especially with our family. That’s why I’m contacting a local chimney sweep supplier to come clean my chimney so that I can use my fireplace this season. I realize that a fireplace doesn’t save that much energy, but the ambiance more than makes up for it and with a up-to-date air purification plan and an a/c tuneup, I might be having a few more fires in the fireplace this upcoming season.