Easy Fixes to Reduce Your Heating Bill

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URBANDALE, Iowa -- It’s that dreaded time of year when we are afraid to open our utility bill.  Right now, is the worst time of the year for your wallet when it comes to the heating bill.

We’ve enlisted the help of a money saving specialist, Cory Amos to get tips on how to keep your bill in check. He does winterizing and energy checks for MidAmerican and he loves to save people money.

“I showed them their saving per year and this is what you’ve been wasting,” said Amos.

We followed Cory around during one his checks in Urbandale. He eventually gets around to the whole house, but it you want to find the biggest and easiest money saving tips, you start in the basement.

“Mam, you’re putting in your filter wrong,” says Amos, as he pulls out a furnace filter and shows the homeowner arrows that tell you which direction it goes.

He continues to talk about the furnace. He says that in most homes he visits either have a filter that’s in backward or is just too dirty and that can cost you.

“It’s starting to round that is telling you,” says Amos, when he points back again to the filter. “Right there it’s telling you. I’m working hard. I’m trying to get air through the house.”

Getting a new filter will run you as low as $5 and will make a huge difference to the efficiency and longevity of your furnace. Cory doesn’t even need to move two feet before he finds another common money wasting issue, uncovered water pipes.

“From A to B to C, it loses temperature through the copper line,” said Amos.

You can solve that issue by wrapping them with foam tubing. You can find that at any hardware store for just a couple dollars. This man is a money saving machine, we didn’t even leave the furnace room before he get another.

“That’s your rim joist or band joist or seal plates. We want to put insulation in all of those square spots,” says Amos, as he points to the spot where the ceiling meets the wall in the basement.

This is an easy fix too. It will cost you just over $10 to fill all the gaps in your basement, depending how big your place it.

We finally make it upstairs and Cory checks on another common issue -- an old thermostat. Changing this out for a new programmable one will take under 30 minutes, and it will save you big cash this winter.

“So you set your thermostat back five degrees for eight hours a day, it will save you 10-percent on your heating bill,” said Amos.

Before Cory leaves he checks windows and doors for air leaks. Amos says this is the easiest fix in a home. All it takes is weather stripping or caulking. He insists that all of the issues he found in this home can be done by even the most novice homeowner.

“A lot of stuff we go over in these home energy audits is stuff that homeowners can do,” said Amos.

MidAmerican offers checks like these for free to their customers. To qualify, you need be a MidAmerican customer and your home must be at least 10-years-old.

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