As temps drop, how do you keep your electric bill from going up - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

As temps drop, how do you keep your electric bill from going up

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Experts say it costs more to heat your home than cool it. So how can you keep from paying more during those winter months?

"We're looking for those areas over in the corner that aren't covered by the insulation," said Glenn Cantrell with Semo Electric Cooperative.

Cantrell said checking your insulation is just one way to keep your electric bill down in winter months.

"So we want to look at those areas and say that's a possibility that we have heat or cold coming into the house, and how do we block that off," said Cantrell.

Cantrell checks a home with an infrared camera, looking for hotspots. Those are areas where heat can get out, and cold air can get in.

He said one of the biggest places where heat can escape is around the windows.

"Just take your hand around the window, where do you feel cool air coming in," said Cantrell.

Cantrell suggests adding caulk around the windowsills to keep warm air in, and cold air out.

"On the old wood frame, you're going to have the caulk and everything on the outside so you want to take your finger and just go across and down, and over, and just kind of see what caulk is loose," said Cantrell.

He said keeping your thermostat down, will also help keep your bill down.

"Don't have your heat on 74 or 75, try to keep it on down around 70, 71 that's usually pretty comfortable," said Cantrell.

Greg Lovett with Ameren said during the holidays, is a good time to watch out for things that might hike your bill.

"A lot of people are putting up holiday lights, so as you're putting up holiday lights, do LED lights, or more energy efficient, than the old bulbs that are also safer because they don't create as much heat," said Lovett.

They also suggest using your microwave instead of your conventional oven to use less energy.

So how much can all of this help you save on your bill?

"It's really hard to say because each home is different," said Cantrell.

Cantrell said the main thing, is to do your research and fix problem spots.

"Really it's just about doing your homework and going around and checking everything, can you reduce your utility bill by a great sum of money, absolutely, what's that percentage, 10, 20, depending on what you do even up to 30 percent," said Cantrell.

"A lot of things that people can do that won't cost them a lot of money, that won't be a big hit on their pocket book, but could make a very big difference on their utility bill, their heating bill, electricity bill," said Cantrell.

You can find more tips to keep your bill down at the Ameren Energy Advisor website here.

You can also help those in need by adding a dollar to your electric bill. Find out more at Ameren's website here.

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