(KMID/KPEJ) – It’s no surprise during the summer that our bills get higher due to energy usage to keep cool. But now that we are succumbing to cold weather with winter around the corner, you may see an increase in your gas bills. So, what can you do to keep them tamed and not be too overbearing?

Tips that Andrea Goodson, from Atmos Energy, has for customers include lowering your thermostat when you are not home instead of turning it off, lowering the temperature of your water heater or taking shorter showers. If you are a homeowner and have a pool, turning off the heater but keeping the pump on, so that the water can continue circulating and not freeze.

But along with these tips comes some precautions as well.

“Making sure you have your furnace checked by a professional. Don’t use your stove or your oven to heat your home.” Says Goodson. “Make sure your vents are cleared. If you have a fireplace, make sure that it’s cleaned and then you close that area when you’re not using that fireplace.”

Now for those who run their heating systems through electricity, such as central heat/air, they may also see an increase in their bills. With solutions such as putting in extra insulation or weather stripping to keep warm, Don Whaley from Ohm Connect says a simple solution can be to turn down the temperature and dress a little warmer. Just by doing this, he says that customers will be surprised what it does to their electric bill.