Tips to keep your heating bill down this winter season

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As the arctic blast hits central Indiana this week, stores like Sullivan's Hardware are packed with customers looking for ways to winterize their homes.

"People are pretty reactive to the weather. It just takes a couple of cold days and all of a sudden people start worrying about it when really, we should all worry about these things when it’s not freezing," said Sullivan's Hardware Manager Andrew Sullivan.

Sullivan showed us a hand full of tools and gadgets you can get for your home all under $100 total to keep your home from getting too cold and your heating bill from going up.

First on the list is plastic coverings for your windows and doors. Window and door plastic coverings cost under $20 per kit. Sullivan said most people forget to cover their doors.

It's especially important to cover doors that aren't used often in the winter months. Door sweeps are also helpful for doors that are in use but could get drafty. Those also cost under $20. You can also place a towel in front of the door to achieve the same results.

"This is just gonna stop the air from coming in from underneath the door," Sullivan explained.

You should also change your furnace filter regularly, according to Sullivan. If your filter is dirty, the furnace will work extra hard, making your bill go up. A new furnace filter can cost between $30 and $40.

"Pull it out. You want to hold it up and if you can’t see through it, you definitely want to replace it," said Sullivan.

He also says if you plan to caulk your windows, it's too late in the season. The cold temperatures will cause the caulking to not do its job. He said you can still caulk the inside of your windows.

Sullivan said don't waste your money on gadgets and tools if you own a newer home.

"If it’s an older, Broad Ripple home, anywhere where there’s homes 50-60 years old and your windows don’t quite close all the way, that’s when this stuff is more important. You’re going to see more of an impact," Sullivan said.

For more on how to apply for assistance through The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, click here.

To be eligible, you have to be a homeowner at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. You also have to be approved by your local agency. Homeowners who qualify get $60 towards their primary heating source, plus help with deposits and other fees. Marion County residents can also call 211.

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