If the cost of keeping your Atlanta home warm during the cold winter has you turning the thermostat to uncomfortable levels, take heart. There may be a way to keep your family warm and your wallet padded at the same time.

Real estate expert Ilyce Glink recently posted an article full of tips for preparing your home for winter. As a native of Chicago, she comes with plenty of experience weathering some of winter’s harshest winters. As a contributor to the

Turn down the thermostat! Since your kids are complaining about the cold and they’ve already put on slippers extra layers of clothing as you’ve suggested (probably more than once, in increasing levels of frustration), we should probably look at other alternatives first. But be aware – turning the thermostat down two degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer could save you 10 percent on your total energy costs.

Other ideas include caulking around the perimeter of windows and doors. This is an easy and inexpensive heat-saving tactic, as is adding or replacing weather stripping at door and window jambs. Closing your flue when you don’t have a fire in the fireplace is a simple remedy that literally keeps heat (and money) from going up the chimney.

A couple of slightly more expensive options (though not by much) are having someone come out to give your furnace an annual checkup and wrapping your water heater in insulation.

To see ideas for more expensive options for reducing your bills (adding insulation, changing out windows and doors, and more) see the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog.  They’ll cost more, but they’ll save more, too. Plus, another Equifax article will tell you which of these improvements will result in

tax savings. While you’re saving on energy, you might as well save on taxes, too, right? Now that’s an idea that will really warm your heart.

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