Iowa largest utility company is predicting it won’t cost quite as much to heat homes this winter compared to last year. MidAmerican Energy spokesperson Alan Urliss says the average monthly bill should be around $107. Still, Urliss says it’s a good idea to check your home for energy efficiency. Both MidAmerican and Alliant Energy offer free energy audits.
Urliss says the company will inspect your home to see if it needs any insulation and also offer tips to help you seal leaks that may be letting in cold air. A common mistake, that can keep a home from being as warm as possible, is blocked heating vents.
"Make sure there isn’t furniture in front of heat registers," Urliss says, "so that heat is going into the room rather than being blown into the back of a couch or under a bed." MidAmerican also recommends homeowners have their furnace professionally inspected once a year.
Urliss says if you don’t have the professional inspection done, you should at least make sure you’re changing or cleaning the furnace filters once a month. Another low cost improvement is using a programmable thermostat.
Urliss says a programmable thermostat, if used correctly, can save a homeowner up to ten percent on energy costs. Urliss also recommends replacing inefficient windows and sealing air leaks on exterior walls using caulk and weatherstripping materials.