Bills May Go Through Roof
Energy assistance officials predict heating costs will jump ten percent over last year. MU Extension Housing Specialist Barbara Buffaloe says now is the time ready your home for the winter.
"If we start working on energy savings now, by the time the rates do increase, it's not going to be that hard on your pocket book," explained Buffaloe. She recommends using special insulation kits for windows, cleaning furnace filters monthly, and using weather stripping.
The National Energy Assistance Directors Association predicts price spikes across the board. Natural gas will rise 5 percent, electricity 7 percent, and oil will jump 28 percent.
MU researchers say investing just a couple hundred dollars on home maintenance could save you 10 to 15 percent on your winter heating bill. Heating technicians say energy savings starts with servicing your furnace.
"Making sure that that's clean is very important. And that's not something necessarily a homeowner can do. It has to be taken all apart," said J.C. Morris from Tiger Appliance Heating and Cooling.
Consumers can also lower thermostats when not at home, open blinds during the day, and repair door cracks.
Th average U.S. household will pay almost $1,000 in heating costs this winter, which is up $90 over last year.