Use these tips to save money on your heating bill this winter.

Whether you're an avid snowboarder or the cold season makes you want to curl up and hibernate, the blunt reality is that winter is coming. For those of us in seasonally frigid locales, winter is not only a time for bundling up, but also a time to be wary of high costs. Heating bills on apartments can get out of hand if you don't play close attention to how you are warming your space. But don't let the winter months break the bank before summer arrives, here are 5 tips for saving on your seasonal heating costs.

1. Invest in a space heater 
Though you'll have to take on the initial cost of buying a space heater, and using it will contribute to your electric bill, this appliance makes it easier to not worry about heating your entire apartment all the time. If you know you're going to be doing a marathon study session at your desk, you can plug in the space heater right next to you to stay warm and keep your mental focus. Then if you later opt to watch television with some friends, you can easily move the space heater to the other room. During the day, this should allow you to not have to leave the heat at as high a temperature, saving you money on your overall bill. 

2. Be wary of your vents 
When you're cooking a big meal or hop out of a steamy shower, your first reaction may be to flip on the fan. Don't give into this reflex, as your vents will suck out all the hot air in your apartment. Of course, you'll want to make sure you don't set off the smoke alarm, but otherwise hold onto that heat by using your vents minimally throughout the winter. 

3. Block off your chimney 
If you have the privilege of having a fireplace in your apartment, you might just opt for keeping it roaring all winter long. However, when your fireplace isn't in use, even when the flu is closed, odds are warm air is escaping through your chimney. Whether you use your fireplace often or rarely, a chimney balloon can prove a great investment for saving on heating costs during the cold season. This inflatable item can be put in your chimney to seal off airflow. Remember that these balloons come in various sizes so make sure you find the one that fits your chimney snugly. Also, don't forget to remove these balloons before starting a fire. While the balloons automatically deflate so that smoke doesn't enter your apartment, the fire can cause damage.

4. Invest in thick curtains 
If you have blinds or transparent curtains, consider purchasing something a bit thicker this winter to insulate your apartment. When the sun is shining through, open up the curtains to let light and heat in, but the moment there's no more direct sunlight, close your curtains to keep the heat inside. 

5. Seal off your apartment 
This technique is a no brainer, but is important for those leasing apartments. If you're spending your first winter in a new abode, you may not have yet noticed problems with window, door and outlet seals. Make sure to seal off these small crevices to ensure your warm air stays inside. If you're concerned that a project is too large to tackle on your own, contact your landlord with a maintenance request and have him or her address the issue. This way, you can keep your apartment warm while not risking incurring any penalties on your lease. 

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