RICHMOND (WRIC) - As temperatures plunge, expect heating bills to shoot up.
There are some little things people can do - like even using a small fan to move heat around a room or opening your curtains and blinds to let sunlight in.
Local heating specialist Travis Riddle says his technicians get very busy when temps drop.
"It's not just limited to no heat," he says. "This kind of weather is really stressful on a home's entire mechanical system."
There are small things you can do to lower your heating bill.
One is to lower your thermostat only 2-3 degrees when you're not home.
"Don't shut it off completely. And don't cut it way back because it will use a lot of energy to get back to a temperature that's comfortable for your home."
One of the biggest mistakes people make is having a dirty heating system. This dirty filter can actually cost you 10 percent a month just to run your system.
Riddle says one of the biggest ways to save is to make sure your system is well maintained and it may be best to get it checked when temperatures aren't so frigid.
"Have it tuned up," Riddle says. "It will prevent lots of small problems from happening when you need it the most and will make sure your unit is working its best during this time of the year."
Dominion also has a few tips. They recommend leaving the thermostat around 58 degrees, lowering the water heater down to 125 and sealing off all fireplaces or other possible air leaks.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond