Warming Up to Winter

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With this shaping up as the second cold winter in as many years, people have been keeping home improvement stores like Lowe's busy. They've found out they need more than just a heating system to keep warm efficiently.

"With the gas and electric price going up," says Lowe's Home Improvement Sales Representative Bob Armstrong, "they're looking for ways to supplement their heating and cut down the costs of heating their home."

People are admittedly creatures of habit when it comes to the weather, but keep in mind the Mid-Ohio Valley isn't used to seeing this kind of weather every year, like people are in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

A complete weatherization may have to wait until the off-season, but there are some small things people can do right now. Ceiling fans can be run in reverse to improve heat circulation, and insulation can be increased to nine inches, to keep the cold air out.

"You can do it with caulking, weather stripping, maybe some insulation or pipe insulation," Armstrong says.

But Armstrong adds leave plenty of room when using supplemental sources such as space heaters, and always fill kerosene heaters outdoors, to avoid hazardous fumes. Armstrong says that even homes that are just a few years old may need improvements to air circulation, especially when more insulation has been installed.