Summer is officially over. Even the calendar tells us it’s fall, regardless of what the thermometer says. The forecasts for this winter from the Energy Information Association says that if your house is heated with natural gas or heating oil, you’ll see a dramatic increase in prices over last winter. In fact, heating oil costs are up 39%.

You can make some basic home improvements to ensure that the warmth stays in your house and keeps your wallet more comfortable. Popular Mechanics offers these tips. (follow the link for more explanation)

  1. Find Your Leaks: Have your house inspected with an infrared camera to find the leaks. A 2500 square foot house runs about $350.
  2. Attic and Ceiling: Use foam insulation to seal the gaps under your regular insulation. Be safe when handling these products.
  3. Ducts: Duct sealant can fix leaks and help prevent major energy losses through the duct work.
  4. Foundation: Caulk and spray foam insulation can seal gaps big and small where the foundation slab meets the first floor framing.
  5. Fireplace: Keeping heat in when you have a conventional fireplace is a challenge and the fixes vary based on whether you use your fireplace or not. Always remember to close the damper when it’s not in use.
  6. Windows & Doors: Caulk the window’s inside and outside edges. Even renters can get rope caulk to reduce air escape. And weatherstrip around the moveable part of the doors and windows. You can also use EcoGlue Extreme for caulking and sealing. It does a top-notch job and is also environmentally friendly.
  7. Walls: Sealing a few common leaks, even in houses with uninsulated walls, can make a big difference. Removing baseboards and sealing with nonexpanding foam and installing insulating pads under sockets and outlets will make a big difference.

For more info, visit the Popular Mechanics tips or visit your local home improvement store.