(NAPSI)—You can keep your home cozy during the cooler months with these tips from the Eldercare Locator:
1. Find out about financial energy assistance programs. Many communities help older adults with heating costs. Area Agency on Aging (AAAs) nationwide have information about these programs. Call (800) 677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov to find the AAA near you.
2. Ask about the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)-the federally funded program that helps eligible low-income people meet home heating needs. Call (866) 674-6327 or see www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/liheap/grantees/states.html.
3. Get information about the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Most state and local governments get federal funds to help low-income families reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. The services are provided by nonprofit agencies that employ energy professionals. They thoroughly analyze energy systems, make minor repairs and check for hazards. Find WAP at (877) 337-3463 and www.eere.energy.gov/weatherization/state_contacts.cfm.
4. Your gas, water and electricity suppliers may offer a monthly budget plan. They may also have special heating assistance funds, as well as “no cutoff” guidelines for older adults, people with disabilities and ill customers.
5. Cut down on energy use. The EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program offers energy-saving tips at (888) 782-7937 and www.energystar.gov.
In addition, you can:
• Seal air leaks. Weather-strip and insulate to prevent warm air from leaking out of the house. Replace screens with storm windows.
• Use a programmable thermostat to lower the heat by 8° F when you’re asleep or away.
• Have a licensed contractor check your heating equipment to make sure it’s operating at peak performance.
• Change the air filter every three months.
• Always close the fireplace damper when not in use and consider the use of a fireplace “balloon” to make it even tighter. Just remember to remove it before lighting a fire in the fireplace.
• Insulate water pipes to avoid freezing and bursting. Drain and turn off outside water spouts.
• The Eldercare Locator is the first step to finding resources for older adults in the U.S. and is a free national service funded by a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA). It is administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a).