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Poor Insulation Could Cost Homeowners Hundreds

LARCHMONT, N.Y. (CBS 2) -- The chill of winter has found its way into under-insulated homes, sending utility bills through the roof as heating systems struggle to keep up.

However, experts said that instead of springing for a new heat system, a simple insulation job, a set of storm doors or some new windows could be a better solution.

"Normally, you would want to insulate your home first -- create the envelope to reduce the amount of heat loss," Marc Berman, of All Makes Heating & Air Conditioning Corporation, told CBS 2's Lou Young.

Danielle Goldsmith is among those finding out that her house is bleeding heat.

Goldsmith told Young that she woke up one morning to find her kids with their hats and scarves on because of the cold air entering her home. On Tuesday, she was having an energy audit done to find ways to reduce the heat loss in her house.

It is estimated that as many 98 million U.S. homes are under-insulated -- wasting 20 percent or more of the heat they're generating. That waste can quickly add up the dollars on monthly energy bills.

Phil Price, of Pelham, had new insulation installed in his attic. For that, he will receive a $1,500 tax credit and lower utility bills, according to the installer.

"After I felt that cold breeze blowing through the house this year, I said 'let's do it,'" Price said.

Even with utility company rebates and tax credits, many improvements are very expensive -- some costing thousands of dollars. However, experts said that until they are made, people's money would continue to go up in smoke.

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