The fall weather is right around the corner. The nights are going to get chilly and the kids are going to start complaining about how cold it is in the house. Before long, you’re going to have to turn on the furnace and start facing higher energy bills.

If you want to start saving on energy this winter, you need some energy-saving tricks that will reduce your bills. Start getting ready as the fall weather lingers before you really need your heat in the winter.

Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

Everyone loves a hot shower to get them out of bed on a cold winter morning. Lowering your water heater temperature is a direct way to save energy.

A typical household only needs the water temperature set at 120 Fahrenheit, while the average manufacturer sets the default to 140, which is scalding. That can cost the average home as much as $400 annually in demand losses. You may not need water to be that hot, but you’re still paying for it.

Energy Saving Tricks

Replace Your Furnace Filters

Have you ever suddenly felt cold air getting pushed through your vents on a freezing winter day? Has the heat simply stopped coming out, even though the air is getting pushed through the system? One common cause for this is a clogged furnace filter.

Here’s what happens: as hot air struggles to get out of your furnace and circulate through your home, the heat exchanger overheats, shutting down the furnace too soon, so your home doesn’t warm up. Sometimes, it can even cause your limit switch to fail, which will mean a visit from a mechanic and a new part to get your furnace working again. Changing your furnace filter is easy and something you can do on your own.

Cover Drafty Windows

Windows are responsible for leaking up to 10% of the heat in your home. Heavy curtains can help to keep heat inside, but if your windows are old, there are more effective ways to do it that won’t leave you sitting in darkness all day long.

You can apply plastic film to window panes and retain as much as 55 percent of the heat you would’ve lost otherwise. It doesn’t affect the light that comes into your living room and it’s easy to apply with a blow dryer. A draft snake can also help cold air from coming in by blocking off the gap between the window and the sill.

Learn How to Use Ceiling Fans

You may think it’s counter-intuitive to turn on ceiling fans when it’s cold out, but ceiling fans are used to circulate air, whether it’s the AC or the furnace you’re running. In the summer, ceiling fans should run counter-clockwise to push cool air downward. In the winter, run them clockwise. That will pull cool air up, pushing warm air back down along the walls. Because hot air rises naturally, you need an updraft to displace it and push it back down.

You don’t have to freeze yourself out to save money on your energy bill. Keep your home warm and cozy until spring without breaking the bank.