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Saving on heating costs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - After it was so warm this past weekend, the days ahead will remind us that it is November.

And it will only get colder from here.  For some people, it's not a bad thing.  One of those people is Douglas Bursnall.

According to him, "it's actually pretty refreshing."

The cold weather usually means heaters running non-stop and sky high heating bills, but it doesn't have to.

Bursnall should know.  He's a Senior Conservation Specialist with Colorado Springs Utilities.  He knows that most people have turned up the heat at least once, but if not, now is the time to get the furnace checked.

"You want to get the filter cleaned," he said.

That can make it run better.  But you also need to make sure that the air can get to where it needs to go by keeping the vents clear.

Bursnall tells us why, "so that the furnace can circulate the air efficiently."

You may think that insulation is the answer to keep the warm air in, but there's something that you need to do first.

"Seal up all the holes," said Bursnall.

Places like wiring holes need to be sealed to prevent leakage.  Ducts can leak too, one way to prevent that is duct tape.

"If you use a metal tape, it seals the ducts really well," Bursnall said.

If you decide that it's time to just give up on the old furnace, you want to look for this yellow tag.  The higher the number is on the yellow tag, the lower the heating bills will be.

Bursnall said, "that tells you how efficiently it's using the natural gas within the furnace."

Remember that there's still plenty of sunshine in Southern Colorado, even during the winter.  So you can let nature help you out a bit too.

"We can let the winter sun in, which is usually pretty strong," said Bursnall.

By following a few simple rules, you can stay comfy inside this winter without seeing the dollars fly away.

The U.S. Energy Information Service ranks Colorado 17th in the nation for total energy costs at just under 13 cents per kilowatt hour.  Hawaii is the most expensive state while Washington state is the cheapest.

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