Winterize your home for cheap!

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It's not winter yet, but it sure looks like it. With snow totals already adding up in the High Country, 3 On Your Side enlisted the help of Mike Donley, with Donley Service Center, to boil down the most cost efficient ways to prepare your home for the cold.  

Tip #1: Cover your roof turbines with a plastic garbage bag at a cost of next to nothing.

“And get some duct tape and just tape the bottom of it, or you can tie it off, and that will stop the air from coming out of your attic,” Donley explained.

Tip #2: Close your chimney flue. It’s simple and it’s free.

“When it's opened, the hot air is just rising and going right out and heating Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it inside, heating the house,” Donley said.

Tip #3: Change your air filters. It will run you between $2 and $20 each, but think of how much more energy it would take for air to circulate through a dirty filter.

Tip #4: Add new weather stripping to help plug up any leaks in your door frames. It’s relatively cheap, at a cost of about $20.

Tip #5: Check your insulation. It’s free, and right now, the government is offering a 30% tax credit if you decide to upgrade the insulation in your home.

“So if you spend $1,000, you're going to get $300 tax credit back when you do your taxes,” Donley said.

Similar incentives are available for upgrading heating and cooling systems, and going green with a solar water heating system.

But Donley explains, year round, the best way to get the most out of your unit is having it maintained. Just make sure you're getting a tune-up that’s worth your while.

“You're going to see a lot of low cost advertising, but a real maintenance usually runs between $50, $60 and $100,” he said.

But peace of mind is priceless, as is knowing you've done all you can -- while you still can -- to get a season worth of savings.