You can reduce your home heating costs by making smart changes during the winter months.

Instead of closing curtains and blinds to the sunlight, open them so the sunlight streams into your home, creating natural heat during the day.

Making sure your home’s weather stripping, caulking and sealing is in good working order will make a big difference toward keeping in the heat.

Upgrading to double-pane windows is another good way to keep warm air inside during the winter and cool air in during the summer.

The use of electric space heaters is a common way to target a bit of extra heat. But for safety as well as efficiency reasons, they shouldn’t be relied on to heat your entire home.

“Space heaters are a great source for some spot heat, but they consume a lot of electricity, so only use them when you’re in the room,” said Armando Ruiz, Senior Tech Specialist in Tucson Electric Power’s Residential Energy Efficiency Program.

Fireplaces provide another source of heat for some homes. But they also can compromise a home’s energy efficiency. When it’s not in use, close the dampers so warm air doesn’t escape.

Heat your home to a comfortable level, but keep in mind that it takes more energy to make your home warmer. Reducing the temperature on your thermostat during home heating season will result in energy savings and a lower bill.

Lighting is another area to focus on for winter efficiency. With longer nights and shorter days, the opportunity for energy savings with high-efficiency LED and CFL bulbs is even greater. TEP works with manufacturers to offer LED and CFL bulbs at steep discounts from local retailers.

Using high-efficiency LEDs, which use 70 percent less energy than standard bulbs, for holiday lights and outdoor spotlights is another good way to save energy during the winter. Keeping such lights on a timer will ensure that they’re on when they should be seen and off when you are asleep.

As temperatures drop, dressing for the season with sweaters and sweatshirts can also help save on heating energy costs.

Any time of year, TEP electric customers can take advantage of programs designed to boost residential energy efficiency. Customers can receive rebates for purchasing new ENERGY STAR air conditioners and heat pumps.

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