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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Winter weather has officially arrived in Kansas City.

The snow and colder temperatures brings higher heating bills for everyone. It comes at a time when prices for everything from food to gasoline is hitting everyone in the wallets.

Spire Gas Company says there are a few steps anyone can take to save a little on energy bills.

The first suggestion from Spire is to get your furnace checked to make sure it’s operating efficiently.

“You gotta get the furnace checked. Just like the human body, if you want to run and be fore efficient, go to the doctor, get it checked. There’s doctors out there in the form of HVAC,” Dallas Jones, Spire Service Manager, said.

You could have a cracked heat exchange, or a number of other issues, and not even realize there’s a problem.

Filters also need to be checked and replaced to keep your furnace working as well as possible.

“Just go into your big box stores, or your local hardware stores. What you’ll find is they have something called an efficiency rating value. The higher the efficiency rating value, that means the more particles it’s going to be able to block out. If you have a lower number, less particles which means you’re gonna have to change it more often,” Jones said.

While many people lower the temperature when they won’t be at home, going too low can also cause an issue.

“Obviously you don’t want to go too low because you could have freezing pipes and things like that, plus your furnace is going to be working overtime to try to get it up to temp whenever you do get into the house,” Jones said.

Jones recommends investing in a programmable thermostat and setting it 8 to 10 degrees cooler when you are sleeping or away from home. He says you can save as much as $180 a year on heating costs with that simple adjustment.

It’s also time to check doors and windows. If you can see any cracks or feel drafts around them they likely need some type of weatherization.

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