Tips to help cut the cost of keeping warm this winter

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Cold weather comes with a cost, and chances are you are not looking forward to your next energy bill. But with winter just underway, there are ways you can cut the costs of keeping warm.

"A lot of older houses have little to no insulation in exterior walls. Attic areas are substantially under-insulated. And a lot of the time, there are rather large air-leakage pathways that need more than just things the homeowner can do," says Jim Maletta an insulation expert and the owner of North Star Energy .

The first thing Maletta recommends is a professional energy audit. The audit, which can range cost about $300 to $350, will take approximately three hours and will help the homeowner determine their next steps toward saving more than just money.

"It's a good planning step, instead of guessing what you need to do. It can result in safety problems with gas appliances in the basement not exhausting properly -- which can lead to carbon monoxide -- or other issues," Maletta said.

Maletta says a professional energy audit can reduce energy costs by as much as 30 percent.