State officials are advising home owners to start thinking about winter weather. Patti Cale-Finnegan of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says heating fuel prices are going up, and Iowans need to buy heating oil now if that’s how they heat their homes. If they use natural gas, she suggests making sure your home is weatherized and the furnace is checked thoroughly to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible. Cale-Finnegan says natural gas prices have been high lately, although they’ve dipped a little in the past month because the cool weather means not as much air conditioner time in most Iowa homes. According to the D-N-R’s August 15th fuel price survey, number two heating oil was selling for $1.47 a gallon. That’s 11 cents higher than in July and nearly 30 percent higher than the price of heating oil at this time last year. Propane’s selling now for about $1.16 per gallon — higher than in July and 22 percent higher than a year ago. Natural gas prices, though, have “moderated” according to Cale-Finnegan, but natural gas prices will still be higher this winter.