Energy saving tips for the colder temperatures ahead

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Our home heating systems are working extra hard to keep us warm and that means more cash coming out of our wallets.

Corey Amos winterizes homes and does energy checks. He says that in most homes he visits with forced air systems a filter is in backwards or it's just too dirty making the furnace inefficient.

A new filter costs about $5 and can make a huge difference.

Amos also added that money is often wasted when hot water pipes remain uncovered. Experts say pipes can be wrapped in foam tubing, something that typically costs just a few dollars.

When thinking about your thermostat, changing an older model out for a new programmable one takes under a half hour. It allows you to automatically adjust the temperature for all times of the day.

"So you set your thermostat back 5 degrees for eight hours a day, it will save you 10 percent on your heating bill," said Amos.

Lastly, make a quick check of the windows and doors for air leaks. Amos recommends weather stripping or caulking for that.

Be sure to check in with your energy provider. Most have more advice on their websites, including energy calculators and information on how to get your own energy audit.

Visit the following sites for more information as well:

State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

Energy Saving Tips from the State of Delaware

Remember to use a free form of energy that comes from the sun. The sun's rays bring heat into your home so keep the curtains open during the day, especially on the south side of the house where you can get more direct sunlight. Be sure to close those curtains at night to reduce drafts