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Simple steps to save on heating

Experts say keeping your thermostat in the 60s will save you money during the colder months. (AP File Photo)

WASHINGTON — As temperatures plummet, heating bills usually go in the opposite direction.

But, according to the largest gas and electric company in Maryland, little steps can help in a big way when it comes to saving money on utility costs.

“During the colder months, heating systems typically account for more than 40 percent of customers’ energy bills because extreme weather generally triggers significant increases in energy use at home,” says Carol Dodson, vice president and chief customer officer for Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE).

“While we can’t control the weather, customers can control how they use energy, even during periods of extreme temperatures,” she adds.

Experts recommend setting the thermostat in the mid or upper 60s.

For every degree below 73, customers save an average of 2 percent to 4 percent on heating, according to BGE.

Other easy steps customers can take include opening curtains and drapes during the day to let warm sunshine in, caulking and weather stripping windows and doors to keep the cold air out and closing vents in rooms that are not often used to avoid heating places unnecessarily.

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