The cold hard fact of living in New England – long, frigid winters lead to high home heating bills. For many Bay Staters still struggling with the economy, this is yet another financial worry. With a little preparation, you can keep the heat in your home and money in the bank.
A few inexpensive and easy ways to keep the heat inside include:
- Replace broken or cracked glass on older windows; check to see that windows close properly and that window locks pull sashes together correctly.
- Repair non-working knobs, latches and striker plates on doors.
- Weatherstrip windows, doors and attic accesses; caulk the frames around windows and doors from the inside using a clear, pliable caulk.
- Switch your curtains and blinds with insulated versions.
For those ready to do a little more around the house, experts also recommend:
- installing automatic thermostats
- insulating attic and crawl spaces
- scheduling annual check-ups for heating systems
Help for Vulnerable Residents
Some Massachusetts residents may also qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps homeowners and renters pay for heating fuel including:
Households with gross incomes ranging between $30,751 for a single person to $97,576 for a family of 17 (not to exceed 60% of the state median income level) may be eligible for LIHEAP.
The program operates between Nov.1 and April 30, and is administered through local non-profit agencies who pay providers directly.
Residents may sign up for LIHEAP from Nov. 1 to April 30. First-time applicants must go to the fuel assistance agency in their area to complete the paperwork. And, while households must re-apply each year, information is mailed to you after the first year.
Those who are denied assistance have the right to appeal through their local fuel assistance agency.
Visit the LIHEAP website for further details and application information.