It’s tempting to turn the heat on as soon as the weather starts to cool down in the fall. But holding off for a few weeks until you really need to rely on heat can keep your energy bills low.

If you must turn the heat on during the early fall:

  1. Set it no higher than 68 degrees. This will make your indoor air comfortable without wasting energy.
  2. Move furniture and drapes away from warm air registers and baseboard heaters so they don’t block the heat from circulating. The freer the air flow, the lower you can set your thermostat.
  3. Close the flue damper of your wood-burning fireplace. In fact, consider fitting an electric fireplace into it so you can enjoy a light show without sending heated air up the chimney.
  4. Have an HVAC pro inspect your heating system before it gets too cold outside. Regular maintenance can prevent an expensive, inconvenient problem later in the winter when it would be uncomfortable to go even a day without a working heating system.
  5. Caulk indoor openings on external walls, like around the areas where the cable and phone lines come into the house and around penetrations for water pipes and sewer lines. Sealing those openings can keep your heated air in and the cool air out.
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