Tired of paying exorbitant heating bills during the harsh New England winters? Here are 20 things you can do on your own this winter to save money and heat your home more efficiently.

1) Solar heating that is passive.
Take advantage of the sun’s low winter placement by opening curtains on south and west facing windows during the day and removing solar shade screens until warmer weather comes.

2) Do not overlook pet doors.
Drafts from a pet door cannot be totally prevented, but they can be mitigated with weatherstripping or even a heavy curtain on either side of the door. If your pet entrance is located within a removable pane of sliding glass doors, make sure you weather-strip around it as well.

3) Maintain your house heating system on a regular basis (s).
Poorly maintained units lose efficiency. Maintain frequent service and maintain exhaust filters clean.

4) Avoid the use of exhaust fans.
One hour of running a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan might deplete your home’s warm air. Reduce your use of them by avoiding utilizing them or turning them off as soon as feasible.

5) Turn off the oven.
When you’ve finished cooking in the oven, leave the door open to keep the kitchen warm.

6) Avoid using a gas fireplace.
A gas fireplace will consume more energy than central heating to heat a room.

7) Make use of the wood fireplace.

Wood-burning fireplaces or stoves produce more heat than gas fireplaces and can be used to burn scrap wood, fallen trees or branches, or wood pellets, which are manufactured from sawdust and are one of the most cost-effective types of home heating.

8) Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans.
Most, if not all, ceiling fans feature a winter reverse mode. By changing the direction of your fan blades, you may draw down the risen heat from the ceiling and prevent it from diffusing through the roof or walls.

9) Keep the thermostat at a low setting.
Set a goal of lowering the temperature by one or two degrees each year. A common energy-efficient setting is to keep it at 55o at night and 60o during the day. Be careful not to turn it totally off or set it too low, as this might cause burst pipes or hypothermia.

10) Maintain consistent temperatures.
Turning off the heat while you leave, or lowering the temperature by more than 5-8 degrees at night than during the day, can cause your unit to work harder when it comes time to warm up again. Instead, choose a nice consistent range.

11) Use a thermostat that can be programmed.
Using a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature when sleeping or working can reduce your energy use by up to 25% without you having to remember.

12) Think about getting a space heater.
In certain circumstances, but not all, a space heater may be more efficient than using a major house heating system to heat a small room.

13) Cover windows with curtains.
Heavy curtains or blankets put over windows will provide an outer barrier against the cold, especially if your windows aren’t double-paned.

14) Cover your bed with curtains.
Heavy curtains or blankets draped around the bed (or from the ceiling if you don’t have a four-poster bed) will assist insulate you at night by retaining body heat.

15) Make use of rugs in high-traffic areas.
Rugs placed on tile, linoleum, concrete, or hardwood flooring will help with insulation.

16) Find drafts: On a windy day, take a stick of incense, a small candle, or a tea light and slowly “trace” around all windowsills, door jams, vents, and so on, searching for the flame to flicker or smoke or hair to be blown away.

17) Sign and date all drafts.
For drafts in non-movable sources, such as window frames, silicone caulking or foam sealant works well, while draft gaskets work well for electrical outlets and switches. Use weatherstripping on moveable sources such as windows and doors. Drafts can also be stopped by using a door draft stopper (such as a rolled-up towel) and heavy currents.

Heaters that burn wood or pellets.

To ensure that your home is heated efficiently, clean the flue vent on a regular basis and clean the inside of the device with a wire brush on a regular basis.

19) Keep your fireplace damper closed unless you have a fire going.

Leaving the damper open in the winter is analogous to leaving a window open, allowing warm air to flow up the chimney.

Doors should be weather-stripped.

A door conceals a large hole on your home’s outer wall. The issue is that you open it on a regular basis. While staying inside all winter is unrealistic, you can easily and economically strengthen the door’s seal.