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Reduce your heating bill this winter

(NC) As we encounter cooler days our attention inevitably focuses indoors. “Turning up the heat can be hard on the pocket book, but there are simple ways to reduce your heating bills,” says Alan Stewart, broker-manager with Royal LePage Sussex in North Vancouver. Stewart recommends these three cost-saving tips:

1. Replace or clean furnace filters once per month. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can save up to five per cent of heating costs.

2. Remove window screens. For the most part, homeowners keep their windows closed during the cold winter months to seal in warm air. Screens can block up to 20 per cent of the sun's warm rays. Remove your screens and take advantage of nature's heat.

3. Run your ceiling fans in reverse. Doing so, at a moderate speed, will recycle any warm air sitting near your ceilings and push it back down into your living areas. Turning your fan in a clockwise direction during the winter can help you recycle up to 10 per cent of your home's heat.

Heating comprises about 60 per cent of a home's energy bills during winter. More information on home maintenance can be found at

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