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How to weatherproof your home ahead of the winter months

Piedmont Natural Gas predicts heating bills may surge 30% higher than last year. Meteorologist Brittany Van Voorhees has tips to keep your energy from escaping.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It didn’t feel like it this week across the Carolinas, but winter is coming. And there's no pleasant way to say it, but heating bills are expected to be higher this year.

Piedmont Natural Gas says the average Carolina Home will pay roughly $12 more a month, averaged over the next 12 months. But in the winter months, bills may surge 30% higher than last year.

The cost of natural gas is almost double what it was last year here in the U.S. for several reasons. Now is the time to make sure you're not throwing a ton of money out the window, whether you live in a house or an apartment.

The WCNC Charlotte weather team talked to the experts at Lowe's who said leaky windows can waste up to 25% of your energy. Insulating your windows is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to keep your energy from escaping.

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The first thing you want to do is look at your windows. If light is shining around the edge, that’s a problem.

Weatherstripping comes in many forms, but the simplest to install is called “adhesive-backed weather stripping”. The stripping needs to be the correct width for your window or door and thick enough to seal the gap.

Make sure to clean any surfaces and let them dry completely. Then, peel and stick! If you have small gaps in any corners, you can use a piece of corner seal stripping to plug it.

You want the material to compress when the windows close and make a tight seal. Then, check one final time for any additional light.

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Gary McCoy, a store manager at Lowe's, recommends shopping early and often. No one is thinking about sealing their windows when the temperature is 87°. But as temperatures get cooler, many people will be searching for these products.

On average in the Charlotte area, we see highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s this time of year. But a month from now, those will drop about ten degrees, then another. By the first of the year, our high temperatures will struggle to reach 50 degrees.

Contact Brittany Van Voorhees at bvanvoorhe@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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