(StatePoint) According to the Energy Information Administration, heating bills for homes that use natural gas could be significantly higher this winter – perhaps by as much as 50%. Why? Based on recent weather trends, colder temperatures are expected, which not only boosts the energy your home needs to stay warm, but quickly raises the demand for those resources as well. Weatherizing your house to ensure it stays comfortable during the long winter season is a great way to help control possible increased costs on your utility bills. Here are five easy ways to keep your home cozy all winter long.

1. Maximize Heating Options:

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Unpredictable weather can cause outages, so it’s best to prepare with alternative ways to heat your home. A log fireplace is wonderful, but for those without one, it may be best to invest in a gas heating alternative, like an individual heater or small generator.

2. Temperature Control:

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Bringing those utility bills down means keeping the warm air inside. Shifts in temperature can cause wood to expand or contract, creating small cracks or leaks which need to be filled. Duck Brand Foam Weatherstrip Seals form the perfect barrier from drafts with self-adhesive foam strips to ensure utility bills remain low with minimum effort and maximum savings. These heavy-duty strips also provide protection year-round by blocking dust, pollen and insects.

3. Swap Your Furnace Filter:

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Trapped dust and dirt in your furnace filter can cause low air flow and limit your furnace’s ability to properly function when you need it most. This can unnecessarily raise the temperature on your heat and cause energy bills to skyrocket. A simple filter change on your furnace and even air conditioning units as often as once a month can help maintain excellent air flow.

4. Create a Barrier in the Garage:

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While many homeowners concentrate on preventing drafts by their front door; they often forget about the largest opening in their house – the garage. Protect against snow, water and cool winter air from entering your garage with a Duck Brand Garage Bottom Seal. This heavy-duty, waterproof rubber seal won’t freeze or crack, and creates a tight, protective border all year long.

5. Cover Exterior Access Locations:

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Built-in pet doors and mail slots often go overlooked. Lower your energy bill by covering those spaces and opt for alternative options when taking out your pets and receiving mail.

For more information, visit DuckBrand.com.

Staying prepared for any shift in weather is always something homeowners should prioritize. With some quick tricks and the right products on hand, weatherizing your home doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Photo 3 Credit: (c) Charles Knowles / Shutterstock.com

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