NEW YORK (WABC) -- The winter's plummeting temperature can send utility bills soaring if you aren't careful.
One of the first things you'll want to do is make sure all your windows and doors are tightly sealed because if you're letting cold air in and hot air out, you're letting money go right out the window.
The first step in winterizing your homes this winter is: seal drafty windows and doors.
Drafty cracks around window seams can be detected with a lit match of lighter.
You can also go high-tech with a thermal camera app on your phone, which will allow you to point at your windows and doors to see exactly what's hot and what's not."
"The draft just makes the energy bill go up," said Katie Sutton, who previously worked in construction with her dad but is now keeping cold customers warm at Hometown Hardware in Closter, New Jersey.
Her manager Paul Viola also pointed out the importance of wrapping pipes before they freeze and burst.
"If anybody had broken pipes, usually a basement gets flooded and it's just a major headache," said Viola. "A simple step is to put this over the pipe. Just by having that, it should warm and prevent the pipe from freezing and cracking."
It's an investment that's well worth it.
Another important tip is don't forget to unplug hoses, turn off water and drain pipes.
Clear gutters to prevent ice damming, and direct that drainage away from the house.
When it comes to roof care, a snowy roof means good attic insulation.
"Like when people wear a hat to keep the warmth inside their head, it's like that," said Sutton. "The roof is is hat. If it's insulated, that'll keep all the cold air out."
Another important tip is to shut your fireplace flue when it's not in use.
And don't forget to look at the direction of your ceiling fan is going. In the summer, you want to draw that hot air upwards, but in the winter, you want to reverse the blades so that it pushes the hot air down.
Next is lowering the thermostat.
Utilities suggest 68 degrees as the sweet spot. If that seems chilling, just turning it down seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day is the best energy savings.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!
Fill out the form below or email your questions, issues, or story ideas by filling out the form below or by emailing 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com. All emails MUST INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND CELLPHONE NUMBER. Without a phone number, 7 On Your Side will not be able to respond.