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St. George can be a cold place to live during the winter. Fortunately, a warm home offers a cozy and comfortable escape from the freezing temperatures outside. Although you probably don’t think about the cost, heating your home accounts for a majority of your energy and utility costs during the winter. To help you stay warm and save money, here are a few tips for maximizing the efficiency of your heating system.

Turn Down Your Thermostat

According to the California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center, you can save up to 5 percent on heating costs for every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range. Wear warm clothing during the day and lower your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower to reduce your heating costs this winter.

Keep Filters Clean

Although you normally only need to inspect your furnace filters a couple of times a year, you should inspect the filters at least once per month during the heating season. Dirty air filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. In addition to raising your energy bills, dirty air filters can also shorten the life of your furnace.

Seal Air Leaks

Even the smallest air leaks can let out hot air, which means your furnace will have to work extra hard to replace the air that is escaping outside. Use caulk to seal up leaks around windows and doors. Also look for places where you have pipes, vents, or electrical conduits that go through the wall and seal up any gaps that you see.

Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up

Even if your HVAC system is just a few years old, a furnace tune-up will ensure that you don’t lose your heat when you need it most. As part of this scheduled heater service, your furnace repair technician will make sure that your furnace is clean, lubricated, and properly adjusted. In other words, he or she will make sure that your furnace is working as efficiently as possible.