MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – Wednesday marks Energy Efficiency Day, and NIPSCO has tips to save both energy and money throughout the holidays and colder months.

NIPSCO shared six tips on how to stay warm this winter:

  • Use natural light. It’s a source of free heat that is often overlooked, the company said. Leaving curtains open during the day allows rooms to absorb some warmth. An added bonus is natural light has benefits like improving vision, better sleep, and a better mood, NIPSCO said.
  • Turn down the thermostat. Beware of how high the thermostat is set in the winter months– your energy bill will rise with the more heat you use, especially if that’s competing with colder outdoor temperatures, NIPSCO warned. Making the HVAC system work harder could also shorten its lifespan. Turning the thermostat down just a few degrees can make a difference.
  • Save on hot water. Make sure the water heater temperature is no higher than 120 degrees to help save energy as well as avoid scalding.
  • Seal cracks and leaks. Fixing leaks- which can be significant energy drains- could reduce energy expenses by between 5-30%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Maintain your furnace. Don’t get stuck in the cold– schedule your annual furnace maintenance ahead of the winter weather. That way, a licensed HVAC technician can ensure your equipment is ready to go before its season-long workout, NIPSCO explained.
  • Buy ENERGY STAR products. When you’re on the lookout for new electronics, NIPSCO recommends searching for ENERGY STAR labels. Those products have been certified as high-efficiency and low-energy, consuming up to 65% less energy than non-certified alternatives, NIPSCO said.

For more ways to save on energy, visit NIPSCO’s website.