According to many meteorologists, Oregon is expected to have a cooler than normal fall and winter meaning people will face higher heating costs.

Increasing a heating system's efficiency can dramatically reduce expenses and/or carbon dioxide contributions to global warming.

Molly Brady, president of Portland's First Call Heating & Cooling and chairperson of Oregon Oil Heat offers these heating tips to save money and the environment:

 Check your air filter. Dirty filters are one of the biggest causes of inefficient home heating systems since they reduce airflow through your furnace. Make sure to check your filter every month. If it shows any buildup of dust and dirt, replace it immediately since the minimal cost of a new filter will quickly be paid back thanks to reduced energy bills.

  Have your duct work sealed.  Leaky ductwork can result in heat loss of up to 50% into your attic and/or crawl space.  A rebate from the Energy Trust of Oregon and an Oregon income tax credit are available to offset much of the cost of the sealing.

Install storm windows and drapes. Standard windows provide very little insulation while storm windows (even a layer of plastic) and drapes seal out drafts and block significant heat loss.

Consider weather-stripping. Many homes have drafts coming through doors and windows.

 Get a qualified technician to inspect your furnace or boiler. Remember that faulty heating equipment and poor installations can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home leading to headaches, drowsiness and even death.

  Learn more about winter proofing at (


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