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Winterizing Your Home Properly & Getting Financial Help if Needed

(Bayview)--A drastic drop in temperatures this weekend means your home has to be ready to handle the cold. There's definitely a right way of cranking up the heat and keeping it from flying out your windows (along with your hard earned money).

Heating repairman and technician Brad Spaugh of Capital Heating & Cooling in Wauwatosa feels the pressure these days. His work load has recently doubled. It's the time of year again to have your furnace or boiler in working order. He's busy doing combustion analysis and making sure heat exchangers aren't cracked so carbon monoxide can't escape into the air.

While Baugh is busy inspecting the furnace or boiler, he offers up advice as to what homeowners can do to make sure your house is winterized as best as possible. He advises putting plastic over drafty windows, especially in older homes, along with weatherstripping. Even the smallest crack or opening can cause a big drain in your budget. Carbon monoxide detectors work well when furnaces don't. Remember to place them all around the house near an outlet close to the ground.

For those who don't have working heat or gas because of unpaid bills, you have until November 1st to resolve the situation. Then you're guaranteed services all winter season. By law, utilities are prohibited from disconnecting customers who are behind on their bills from November 1-April 15.

If you have a dispute with a utility company, you can go to http://psc.wi.gov and click on the \"File A Complaint\" tab on the Public Service Commission, or PSC, website. You can also call 1-800-225-7729 for more. Also, there are assistance programs across the state to help those who can't afford their utilities. Here are some helpful websites/phone numbers for you.

Milwaukee County Residents...county.milwaukee.gov/energyassistance9970.htm
Non Milwaukee County Residents...http://www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov.

Locally, you can call 414-270-6954 to learn more about the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance, or WHEAP. You will be required to fill out an application. There's also a hotline at 1-866-432-8947 with more information.

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