Yikes, it’s getting chilly out there; time to bundle up and warm yourself from the top of your head to your tippy toes.

While it’s easy to throw on a sweater, a scarf and even some longjohns if you reside in a colder climate and need to keep the house warm, trying to keep the electric bills down isn’t always easy. However, there are some options, so keep reading to learn more.

Winter officially arrives on Dec. 21, regardless of where you live and there‚Äôs already a definite chill in the air. Even if you live in a warm climate, the night’s are still going to get colder, sometimes even with a frost.

Bottomline: Your humble abode is going to be using some form of heat to warm things up. Some homeowners have electric heat, others use fireplaces and wood stoves to keep warm.

Just keep in mind before you crank up the old thermometer to well above the 78-degree mark, you might want to keep some of these tips in mind to help keep your utility bills down.

  • Caulk all cracks around door and window frames and at the foundation.
  • Close outside doors promptly and securely.
  • Keep doors of an attached garage closed.
  • If the garage is heated, maintain the temperature at about 40 degrees F.
  • Lower the thermostat settings in unoccupied areas and close doors to those areas. A 10 percent setback overnight will save fuel.
  • For best performance a thermostat should be located on an inside wall where it will not be affected by sunlight. Do not locate on an outside wall, on a chimney wall, over a radiator or in direct drafts.
  • Keep the windows closed and locked when not opened for ventilation.
  • Close the fireplace damper when the fireplace is not in use. With the damper open, the warm air in the room will be drawn up the chimney. Install a set of glass doors on the fireplace which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use or when the fire is very small.
  • Replace or repair hot water faucets if they drip. Always close securely after use.
  • Wear heavier clothing inside like multiple layers if you want to save even further on utility bills.
  • Buy an old-fashioned hot water bottle to sleep with to keep you warm, or purchase an electric blanket and keep it on low. Don’t forget to turn it off in the morning hours to avoid fires.
  • You might want to consider buying a waterbed (yes they still sell them) and keep it nice and warm so when you get ready for bed, it will be all toasty.

    Keeping warm is one thing, but trying to save money at the same time can be a challenge. However, with these tips you might be able to keep your utility bills down at least a little bit.