As cool autumn days are quickly replaced by much colder nights, is your home prepared for the seasonal changes? Heat up your home (and your family) this winter while still saving two types of green—your money and the environment—with these four tips.

  1. Plug up drafts. Invest in cost-effective insulation. Block small gaps and cracks with rope caulk or spray foam to prevent drafts, and close up the flue damper whenever you’re not canoodling next to a roaring fireplace. Also, remember to create a tight seal around vulnerable doors and windows with self-adhesive backing. Keeping heat sealed in your home prevents additional adjustments to the thermostat, so you may save an average of $200 in heating costs a year.


  1. Think about water. Even juggernauts like water heaters need to keep warm. Energy loss through the heater’s walls rapidly add up, so throw an insulating jacket over it. You may cut heat loss by half! If you don’t need scalding hot showers, change the water temperature to a setting of 120°F during weekdays to keep your bills and energy waste down all season.


  1. Touch that dial. Outdated thermostats don’t have the personalized capabilities of today’s models. Install a modern version, and with the tap of a few buttons, you can program your thermostat to turn off while you’re not home. WiFi-enabled thermostats even allow you to schedule times to crank the heat up with a few swipes. Thoughtful adjustments like this could help you save around 12% on your energy bill each month.


  1. Let the sun shine. Snowy grounds may make you shiver, but that doesn’t stop the sun. Adhere reflective window film and the sun’s rays may bounce heat back into your homes, reducing the need to crank up the thermostat. Need an extra cover to keep your family warm? Pick up some cellular shades to insulate windows from the brisk cold.


Don’t wait until you’re too cold to make these changes! Start with these simple changes today to plan for a green winter ahead.