Exorbitant home-heating bills pose a great challenge to people who have to rely on fixed incomes as well as those that live from one paycheck to the other. If you’d like to give reducing your heating bills a shot, read on and try these low-cost tips:

1. Get used to putting on socks

Chances are, if your your feet are cold, your whole body will also feel the chill as well, so make it a point to wear socks around the house during the winter. If you’re still feeling cold, try bundling up in a sweater or a blanket as opposed to instantly raising the heat.

2. Make use of existing heat.

Take full advantage of activities that generate heat inside your house. This includes cooking a meal or taking a shower. When you shower, hold the bathroom door open so steam goes out and spreads to other rooms, and don’t turn a ventilation fan on as this will rapidly remove the warm air you’’d like to have around.

3. Lower your thermostat.

Chances are, you won’t notice a big difference if you turn it down just a few notches, a move that can actually slash 5-10% off your heating bill. It’s especially prudent to turn down the heat whenever you leave your home for just a few hours.

4. Watch that water heater.

It’s also not noticeable but quite beneficial for your bill, if you turn down the thermostat on your water heater to around 120 degrees from about 140 degrees.

5. Consider using a programmable thermostat.

They run between $30 and $100, but that’s money that is a cinch to gain back over the course of a year because your heating bills would substantially plunge. A programmable thermostat lets you adjust the heat on a predetermined time, so you can reduce the heat when you’re not home or when you’re asleep.