During the winter, most people notice a pinch in their pockets when it comes to paying utility bills.
But there are a few things you can do to save money and keep warm.
"In the home you can save a lot of money<" said Frank Berlo of the Home Depot. "If your utility bills are $300, we can save up to 30% by just doing some energy saving tips. That’s $100 a month or $1,200 a year, which is an enormous amount of money, especially in these times."
A good place to start is with a programmable thermostat.
"What most people think is that they’re very expensive but they aren’t," said Berlo. "We have them anywhere from $12 to $27. The advantage to those is that when you’re not in there, you can program it to turn the temperature down, so you save energy costs."
Another place you can lose a lot of energy is in your water heater.
"If your water heater is more than 5 years old, it should be checked to see if it’s putting out proper hot water," he said. "Check for small leaks or anything like that. Heating up water takes a lot of energy, so if you’re losing any of it, it’s a big savings."
There is also a tax break for those who want to update their homes. Consumers who purchase and install certain products such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs and heating and cooling equipment in existing homes can receive a tax credit for up to 30-percent of the cost up to $1,500.
For more information on how you can save money and update your home, go to www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm.