Now that autumn has arrived in Western New York, people are starting to prepare for cold weather, and all that winter brings.

One thing you can guarantee in Buffalo is that winter in the 716 is always coming. Lots of people feel that we actually only have two seasons in Western New York; it's either winter time or time to get ready for winter.

But, one thing we must be concerned about as colder temperatures begin to arrive in Buffalo is fuel costs.

Over the last couple of years, New York Residents have seen heating prices more than double since last year. Now, while there are some ways New Yorkers can save on some of these costs this year, there is a heating crisis brewing, and there isn't a whole lot that we can do about that.

However, even though we cannot do much about the price of natural gas, propane, and heating oil on the open market, we can do something to help reduce our fuel usage, and that can help control your bills this winter.

What Are Some Tips To Help Lower Heating Bills

Dad might have had a few ideas of ways you could save on winter costs; trying some of these tips may have a real impact on your usage, and that will, in turn, help lower your monthly bills.

Opening and Then Closing Your Window Coverings

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Even in the winter, we get a lot of kinetic energy from the sun, and if you do not have high-efficiency windows in your home, opening your curtains and blinds during the day will help warm your home, and then closing them at night will help you retain some of that heat.

Add Some Window or Door Insulation

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Do you remember those days when your grandparents used to make you help put plastic sheeting up to their windows? Well, they were on to something; adding some insulation and weather stripping to your doors and windows will help keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

Turn Down Your Water Heater

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You'd be surprised how much energy it takes to keep the water in your water heater warm. Turning it down a few degrees will go a long way to lowering your energy bill in the winter.

Change Your Furnace Filter

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When you have a clogged filter, your furnace has to work harder to circulate air throughout your home; that extra work means more electricity to run the furnace and then burning more gas, propane, or heating oil to create the heat. Go ahead and change that filter and help things run more efficiently.

Lower Your Thermostat

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Just lowering your thermostat by 1 degree can make a major difference in your energy usage over time. Plus using an electronic or programmable thermostat can help you only heat your house when you need to.

Don't Use Your Bathroom Fan

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Your bathroom fan does a great job of removing certain smells from your bathroom, but it also does a great job of pulling heat out of your house as well. Using your bathroom fan only when you need to will make a big difference.

Do you have any tips that can be used to reduce heating costs?

A Winterization Checklist to Ready Your Home for the Cold

You can do the majority of these essential tasks on a weekend by yourself and most don’t require a lot of money to complete. Not up to the task? Hire someone handy to do it all. Whatever you decide, they're important winterization steps for all homeowners and by following them your home will be ready for winter and your family more comfortable. And, you’ll save a few bucks to boot. 

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