PADUCAH — Expect to pay more to heat your home this winter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says on average natural gas bills are expected to rise by 5 percent and electricity by 3 percent. EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook Report for 2018-2019 shows the increase is because of higher energy prices. EIA says homes which use propane are expected to see costs similar to last winter.

Steve Warren with Warren Heating & Air says there are several little things homeowners can do right now to save money this winter.

“If you have small leaks, you can caulk those leaks around pipes that come in through your sink and seal the air leakage up,” says Warren. “If the gaps are half inch or bigger, you’ll want to use some sort of foam.”

If outside doors to your home are shut but you can still see light coming through, Warren says that means hot air is going out. “When a door is not sealed, you’re losing a ton of energy around that door,” he says.

Warren says heat can escape through places you’ve never even thought of, such as light switches and outlets. “Where you have leaks, it will leave a dust trail,” he says. To fix the problem, Warren suggests using a foam socket sealer underneath the faceplate for insulation.

“You can spend $50 on tightening up your home a few hours on a Saturday,” says Warren. “Do it yourself and save at least $500 a year on utility costs.”

Warren says when hot air leaks out of your home, cold dry air seeps in, which can cause a sore throat and stuffy nose.

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