Let the sunshine in

            One of the easiest ways to warm up your home during the late winter and early spring: Open the window drapes.

            Energy savings isn’t the only benefit of adding natural daylight to your rooms. Daylight is a natural stimulant that makes people feel better.

            Here are five ways the sun can help you save energy on heating bills:

            1. Open the curtains or blinds during the day and close them once the sun goes down. The heat from the sun’s rays could warm up the room enough to remain comfortable even if you lower the thermostat. South-facing windows are the best for letting sunlight in during the winter. A side benefit: You won’t have to turn any lamps on in sunlit rooms.

            2. Clean your windows. Nobody likes that chore, but dirty windows can block natural light from finding its way into the home. Wipe down the indoor glass panes once a month year-round and the outdoor panes once a year.

            3. Install a skylight in an otherwise shaded room. The rooftop windows aren’t cheap, but they let the sun into the room and give you a view of the sky.

            4. Replace any single-pane windows with energy-efficient, double-pane models. They not only let in the light; they keep your home’s heated air from leaking outside.

            5. As spring arrives and the weather starts warming up, an abundance of natural light in your rooms could allow you to turn the thermostat off a bit sooner.