There are several ways that can help you stay comfortable and keep your home heating costs down during the Winter. 

The first step is to reduce air leaks in your home.  Use caulk to seal any cracks or small openings on non-moving surfaces such as where window  frames meet the house structure.  Check the weatherstripping in exterior door frames and replace any that is deteriorated or cracked.  Inspect utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings and unfinished spaces behind cabinets and closets.  You can buy material that expands to fill the gaps and keep air from flowing through.  Examine ductwork for splits or gaps that have developed in the ducts.  If your home is heated by forced air, examine the ductwork and use duct sealant or metal-backed tape on any leaks.  Finally, check registers returns to make sure they are tightly sealed to the ducts.  By sealing leaks in a home, an average household can cut 10% of its monthly energy bill. 

You can keep your house comfortable and save energy by strategically adjusting your thermostat.  A programmable thermostat allows you to easily set a schedule to maximize your savings.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 1% on your fuel bill for each eight hours you set the thermostat back one degree. That means that if you set your thermostat back each night from 70° to 65° while you sleep, you can save as much as 5% on your heating costs.

If you want to learn even more about how to manage the specific energy consumption of your home, consider hiring a professional energy auditor to evaluate your home.  If you are a Georgia Power customer, they offer a free in-home energy audit as well as an online energy check-up.