NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The price of home heating oil isn’t getting any cheaper, and with a potential shortage and rate hike on the horizon, now may be the time to start thinking of efficient ways to keep your home warm this winter.

Some tips go without saying — add a layer on when at home, check under your doors for any drafts and keep the oven door open while it’s cooling down. But what else do you need to do to prepare?

News 8 meteorologist Sam Kantrow has gathered tips to help you this winter.

  1. Get your oil — If you’re not on autodelivery, you’ve probably already used a chunk of your supply over the last six months, even if the weather wasn’t cold. Check the level, and make sure to fill the tank if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Service your furnace — Especially if it’s an older unit, you need to do this every year.
  3. Change your filter — If you have forced air, changing your filter will help your system run as efficiently as possible.
  4. Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned — This needs to be done regularly, especially if you are planning on using it to consistently heat your home.
  5. Be safe with your electric space heater — While these can be great at heating a cold room, then can also be more expensive than gas, so be careful.
  6. Practice space heater safety — Do not use an extension cord with your space heater, and keep the heater away from flammable objects.
  7. Get a home energy audit — This is extremely economical, and can provide a tremendous benefit to the efficiency of your heating system. You can also use it to save hundreds of dollars each winter.
  8. Turn the thermostat down — It’s a classic for a reason. Even a small difference in the temperature of your home can lead to big savings.

If you need help affording heat this winter, there are several programs that can help. You can walk into your local Community Action Agency. You can call 211 to find out where your local Community Action Agency is, or you can apply online here.