We are firmly in the winter season, and the temperature is going down, down, down. That means heating bills will go up, up, up unless you make a few changes. Turning up the thermostat isn’t the only way to keep your home warm during winter. Try these suggestions to stay comfortable and save energy at the same time.

Let the sun in, keep the night out

This winter, take advantage of the most effective natural heater there is: the sun! During sunny, warm days, open the shades and let the radiant heat warm up your home. Open blinds and curtains during the day to let the sunlight in to bring the house temperature up. Similarly, if you’re eager to keep the cold out, it pays to close those curtains when the sun sets. At night, do the opposite and draw the shades and curtains to retain as much heat as possible. Conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10 percent, according to Energy.gov research.

Keep the air in your home

Check doors and windows for leaks and seal them where the cold air is entering your home. If your windows (and doors leading to the outside) have any gaps or cracks, the warm inside air is likely leaking to the outside. This will leave you chilly and cause you to overspend on utilities to maintain your desired indoor air temperature.

Each season, check all windows and doors that open to the outside. You can feel by hand for drafts with all windows and doors closed. Or hold a burning incense stick around the windows and doors, and watch for any abnormal smoke movement. A lesser-known place to check is electrical outlets on exterior walls. Fix the gaps, and your rooms will stay warmer. Caulk or weatherstrip are easy and cost-effective ways to seal those small leaks around windows and doors.

Double check your thermostat

Make sure the program is set to heat only when you are in the house. Running the heat when no one is home will only drive up your bill.

Invest in a WiFi thermostat

Don’t like managing thermostat schedules or do the kids mess with the thermostat too much? Install a WiFi thermostat and you can control the temperature from anywhere in the world as long as you have cell service and your WiFi is on at home! The right thermostat goes a long way when it comes to keeping your home warm during the winter. A smart thermostat that is programmable, which allows you to set the thermostat for warmer temperatures just before you wake up and prior to returning home, enhancing your comfort.