It's been pretty cold here in northern Maine and western New Brunswick and that can play huge when it comes to paying your energy bills. But you can do something about it.

This week, January 10 to be exact, we recognize 'National Cut Your Energy Costs Day', so we thought to highlight some ways that you can do that.

Here are 5 energy-saving tips to think about this winter:

  1. A Furnace Inspection - A furnace inspection is not only a wise idea, but a practical one also to ensure that your heating device it running efficiently and safely. Because of windy conditions during the summer, spring and fall, dust can find its way into your furnace.
  2. Setting Your Thermostat -  Some experts advise setting your thermostat anywhere between 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 - 22 degrees Celcius to help save money on heating costs. If you're still chilly with these set temperatures, using a blanket or don a warmer sweater.
  3. Energy Efficient Heating Appliances - Before you purchase a new heating appliance, be sure that it is an energy efficient one. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
  4. Insulation - Good insulation in your home will save you money in the cold months and in the warm months. Some experts suggest R-49 insulation for attics in northern Maine. That's about 14 inches of blown attic insulation. You should also insulate around windows, walls, ceilings, and floors to help keep heat from escaping your home and to keep cool air from escaping in the summer months.
  5. Windows and Doors - Experts suggest double-pane windows as heat can escape 14 times faster through a single-pane window. You also want to ensure that good caulking is done around all windows and doors as these are key areas for heat to escape through your home.

There are other ways to save on energy costs as well. A few ways to do this are to carpool when you can, unplug unused appliances and take shorter showers, to name a few.