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Higher utility bills are likely this winter as energy costs jump

The U.S. government said households can expect to see their heating bills jump as high as 54-percent this winter compared to last year.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Higher utility bills are likely this winter as energy prices surge.

The U.S. government said households can expect to see their heating bills jump as high as 54-percent this winter compared to last year.

Heating and cooling experts recommend taking steps now to help keep money in your pocket.

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Pete Georges knows a thing or two about heating and cooling homes.

As the owner and operator of AdvantaClean of the Piedmont in Greensboro, he said now is the time to prepare homes for the colder months.

“Heating and cooling are a big component of your monthly usage of energy consumption,” Georges explained.

“Going into the winter months you’re going to be cranking up the HVAC units for your home heat and there’s a lot of things you can do around the home to improve the efficiency of your home.”

Georges said the adequate installation of the attic and crawl space plays a big part in keeping energy consumption low.

“This will do a couple of things,” Georges said.

“It will protect your plumbing and pipes from exposure to extreme cold and possible freezing and rupturing of the pipe and plumbing. It will also help to maintain some of that heat your home generates.”

This goes for doors and windows too.

“You may want to ensure you have all your storm windows closed around your home,” Georges said.

“Or you may want to consider checking the seals and weatherstripping around your windows and doors. Make sure they’re intact and in good condition.”

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According to the U.S. Department of Energy, HVAC preventative maintenance can help save homeowners up to 25-percent in energy cost.

Georges recommends changing the HVAC filter regularly.

“Not only will that improve the filtration and air quality of your home, but it will improve the efficiency of the unit,” Georges explained.

“The system won’t have to work as hard to pull air through the filter.”

As temperatures continue to drop, he recommends having a professional service a home’s heating unit, as well as having a professional inspect the home for maximum upkeep.