Heating bills will be going up this winter

As the months quickly become colder, more homeowners across America will be looking to raise the temperature on their thermostats. Consequently, a new forecast from the government has revealed that this tendency coupled with growing utility costs will leave Americans with increasingly higher heating bills this winter.

USA Today reports that over 90 percent of homes will be receiving higher heating bills thanks to price increases for electricity, propane and natural gas. Citing data from the Department of Energy, the source reveals that the average cost of natural gas heat has gone up 13 percent since last year, leaving homeowners with an average monthly bill of $679. Nearly 40 percent of the country uses electric heat and will be seeing slight increases in their costs as well, hitting about 2 percent higher than last year's figures.

Homes that use heating oil will see a slight reprieve from the price hike, thanks to monthly bills that will actually drop by 2 percent. This is, however, a small consolation, as oil customers will still be paying their second-highest ever heating bills. The consistently high price of heating oil is attributed to great worldwide demand and a limited supply to work with.

While nothing can help the seasons from getting colder, a home inspection can help keep utility costs down. Home inspectors can assess your property's ability to insulate heat and then make recommendations on how it can be improved on. The better insulated a house is, the more it is able keep heat bottled inside. This means less time turning up thermostats and cheaper bills from your heating provider. 

Virginia homeowners are encouraged to meet with local Virginia home inspectors about how well-equipped for warmth their home is this winter.