Take steps to offset soaring heating costs

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Robert Thomas, former Information Specialist, Cooperative Media Group, University of Missouri Extension

Keeping warm air inside and the cold air out can be relatively inexpensive, according to Barbara Buffaloe, a former University of Missouri Extension housing specialist.

In many homes, a lot of heat escapes through the roof, cracks in walls, and gaps around windows, doors and pipes. Homeowners can ease the shock of high utility costs by reclaiming some of that lost heat.

Twelve inches of attic insulation is recommended in Missouri, Buffaloe said. Exposed air ducts in the attic allow heat to dissipate even before it enters the house, making the furnace work harder, so wrap or cover these ducts with insulation.

“Depending on the size of your house, for a couple hundred dollars you can probably save 10 to 15 percent on your winter heating bill,” she said.

Weatherstrip your doors and apply caulk around pipes. A few tubes of caulk, which cost $3 or $4 each, could save you several hundred dollars, Buffaloe said.

Lifestyle can also play a role in reducing heating bills…

For more simple things you can do to further reduce your heating bills, check out the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/housingarticles/housing11.htm

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