LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning residents of increasing energy prices over the winter weather season.

A news release from the attorney general’s office says lower temperatures mean heating units are working overtime, and more money will be spent on keeping them running.

The attorney general is urging Arkansans to take precautions to prepare their home and finances for the upcoming winter.

Rutledge’s office gives the following tips to keep energy costs down:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when no one is home. Some newer models can connect to smartphones providing access regardless of location.
  • Seal cracks or holes around the home by weather-stripping doors and windows and adding insulation to walls, the attic and crawlspace to prevent loss of heat.
  • Set ceiling fans to spin clockwise to recirculate rising hot air.
  • Make sure baseboard heaters, air vents and radiators are unobstructed.
  • Service the heating system at least once a year to ensure it is operating properly.
  • Consult with a licensed plumber regarding potentially wrapping the water heater in a water heater insulating blanket and turning down the temperature to the warm setting.
  • Close the vents and doors to rooms that are not being used.
  • Keep air filters clean and replace regularly.

The release says residents heating their homes with gas users should consider signing a long-term contract with a provider in order to lock in a specific price over a set period.

Homeowners should also assess consumption needs and order propane refills prior to the current supply running out, according to the release.

The attorney general’s office says other heating sources like space heaters require caution and must be located away from flammable material and can often impact energy costs.

Other tips and resources are available at EnergyEfficiencyArkansas.org.