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Once again, winter is in full swing.

The wonders of winter are all around us, but occasionally we all get that pricey energy bill that puts a damper on the season. While the bitter cold may cause you to throw another log on the fire or turn up your thermostat, this will increase your energy consumption and, therefore, your energy bill. To combat this, consider these ways you can save a bit of money and reduce your energy use during the winter months.

  • Channel the sun’s energy.

If you’re home during the day and feeling chilly, open the blinds and let the sunlight in. This will allow the sun’s rays to naturally heat your home and will eliminate the need to turn up your thermostat.

  • Make some tweaks to your windows and doors.

Hanging curtains on your windows can help you save energy by blocking cold air from entering your home. Also, if your windows have gaps where cold air can come in, consider filling them with sealant or caulking.

Applying weather stripping to doors in your home can also block out the cold air.

  • Try a programmable thermostat.

There are several thermostats that use smart technology to adjust the temperature in your home so you don’t have to. You can program the device to heat your home to a certain temperature when you are present and to maintain a lower temperature when you are not home. They even have features for controlling the temperature during extended absences, so they do the work for you while you’re on vacation.

Some local energy providers offer subsidies to purchase this technology. Check with your local energy provider to understand your options.

  • Only heat the rooms you use.

Closing the vents in rooms you don’t normally use can help reduce your usage, as well. Rooms that you might infrequently visit, like the laundry room or guest room, are some to consider.

  • Opt for a fireplace, instead.

Nothing says wintertime like cozying up by a fireplace. While the burning of logs does expend energy, opting to use your fireplace in lieu of a heater can help reduce your energy costs. Simply make sure the damper is closed after use to keep cold air from entering your home.

We hope these tips can help you reduce your energy consumption lower your energy bills this winter! Stay warm and remember you can also offset your carbon emissions by 30% this winter by filling up with 7-Eleven RENEW. Find a location near you here.