By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As temperatures in our area bounce around, now is a good time to start thinking about weatherizing your home. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice to get your home energy-ready.

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The U.S. Department of Energy says you should start with your thermostat. It might be a smart investment to swap out that manual device for a programmable one. These newer thermostats allow you to program a schedule of temperature settings, according to the hours you’re home. The “set it and forget it” technology means you don’t have to remember to adjust it several times a day. The government’s energy experts say you can save 5 to 15 percent on your energy bills just by dialing back that temperature 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a day.

You might also want to consider a do-it-yourself home energy audit. It’s a simple checklist that looks at the energy efficiency of specific aspects of your home. This includes looking for air leaks, checking insulation and making sure light bulbs are not running up your electric bill.

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Most of these projects are pretty budget friendly, but if weatherization just isn’t an option for you because finances are tight, often government programs are available to help get your home ready for winter.

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