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Save on home heating with these tips

'Ed the Plumber' demonstrates what can be done to prepare for winter
/ Source: msnbc.com

Although many meteorologists are predicting that temperatures this winter in the U.S. will be mild on the whole, that warmer weather will likely be offset by expected increases in home heating costs.

"It's going to be a significant, and really shocking increase in prices this winter, that we're anticipating," Kateri Callahan, from the Alliance to Save Energy.

That increase could be as high as 60 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

While fuel costs are out of most Americans' control, there are ways to prepare a home for the colder months that can pay off in lower bills.

TV Handyman and Master Plumber Ed Del Grande, known as "Ed the Plumber" on the Do-it-Yourself network, joined MSNBC's Chris Jansing on Thursday to discuss what people can do to get the most out of their heating dollar.

"These are real do-it-yourself tips that anyone can do," Del Grande said. "Remember, each one of these tips will save a little bit, but if you do them all, you'll save a lot.

Ed the Plumber's tips:

1. Upgrade air filters"If you're going to take time to change the air filter ... do it right," Del Grande said. "It's only a couple of dollars more, but you really get a lot more performance."

2. Set your water heater to below 125 degrees
"Remember, anything over 125 (degrees) can scald. So this is a safety tip as well as an energy saving tip," Del Grande said.

3. Level your thermostat
"If it isn't perfectly level, what can happen is that you set it on 68 (degrees), but you're really on 78 (degrees). Put it on the wall, get a level, and once it's straight, it'll be perfect."

4. Buy a performance showerhead "A lot of people have the older showerheads, which use five, six gallons a minute. You don't want to do that, that wastes hot water," Del Grande said. The performance showerhead "disperses the water and only uses two-and-a -half gallons a minute."

5. Buy performance faucet aerators
"Just like the showerhead, if you get some of these performance aerators, you change them, put them in place and you use less water out of the spout and save more hot water."

6. Insulate hot water lines

7. Check for drafts, seal with gap filler

To watch the entire interview between Chris Jansing and Ed Del Grande, click on the "Launch" button in the video player above and to the right.