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Energy Conservation Tips for PG Energy Customers

01 Sep 2005

Easy Home-Weatherizing Steps Could Help Customers Save Money

To help customers prepare now for the cold winter months, PG Energy offers easy autumn fix-up tips that could help customers conserve energy, stay warm and save money during the heating season.

  • Install caulk – Caulk is inexpensive and easy to use and can seal out cool drafts that waste money and make living spaces uncomfortable.  Caulk should be installed around door and window frames, at the joint where your home’s siding meets the foundation or chimney, and around vents, pipes or other conduits that pass through the walls of the home.  Loose pieces of insulation may be packed into larger gaps around these passages.  Latex caulk cleans easily with soap and water, and to maintain a home’s appearance, clear caulk is also available.
  • Install storm windows – Storm windows create an insulating barrier of air between heated homes and the cold outdoors.  Storm windows should be in place, and those storm windows with sliding sashes should be closed, before cold weather arrives.  Low-cost plastic storm windows can be made at home and are also effective energy savers.
  • Insulate – Make sure that unheated areas of the home are properly insulated, including the attic and basement.  Home improvement centers can provide information regarding installing insulation and the proper type of insulation for each home.
  • Install door sweeps – Door sweeps seal the gap between the bottom of doors and the floor to keep heat inside and drafts outside.  Some sweeps require only a screwdriver for installation.
  • Install weather stripping – Made of rubber or a felt-like material, weather stripping can be applied to door jambs and the inside of window frames to close the gaps where cold air enters.
  • Install new thermostats – Thermostats equipped with clocks may be programmed to save heat.  These devices, which should be installed by a qualified contractor, can be set to lower the temperature in homes while occupants are at work or sleeping at night. Also, set your thermostat control setting for your furnace no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit (F) during the heating season.
  • Conserve hot water – Energy consumers can cut utility costs by insulating hot water pipes with inexpensive and easy-to-use foam insulating sleeves.  Restricted-flow showerheads can save water and part of the cost to heat it.  Water heater thermostats should be set at levels that do not exceed the mid-range.  Also, set your water heater temperature control to the pilot position when your home is vacant for two days or longer.
  • Ready the furnace – Filters in gas-fired warm air heating systems should be changed before, and at least once during the heating season, as dirty filters reduce a heating unit’s efficiency.  With gas-fired steam heating systems, the low-water cutoff valve should be flushed out before the start of the heating season and weekly during the heating season.  Home occupants should also periodically ensure that chimneys are clear of obstructions. Consider having your furnace cleaned and inspected by a qualified contractor or contact PG Energy to schedule an appointment.
  • Let the heat in – Raise shades to allow sunlight to enter your home during the day. Close shades on overcast days and at night.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the most common places where air escapes in homes are:

 

  • Floors, walls, ceilings
(31 percent)
  • Ducts 
(15 percent)
  • Fireplace 
(14 percent)
  • Plumbing penetrations
(13 percent)
  • Doors  
(11 percent)
  • Windows 
(10 percent)
  • Fans and vents
(4 percent)
  • Electric outlets
(2 percent)

 

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