Duke Energy Offers Tips to Stay Warm, Save Money
"All of our communities have experienced sustained periods of subfreezing temperatures the past few weeks, and our customers are using more energy to warm their homes and businesses," said Gianna Manes, senior vice president, Duke Energy Retail Customer Products and Services. "When temperatures drop, bills are higher, so it's important that customers have some simple energy-saving tips for staying warm and saving money."
Winter, energy-saving information:
- Check your heating system's ductwork to ensure that it is well insulated and completely covered. Ductwork should be properly sealed and not allowed to hang loose under the house.
- Keep your thermostat at a comfortable setting. If you are going to be away for several days, turn the thermostat to a lower setting, but not to "off."
- Have your heating or cooling system checked each season by a qualified technician to make sure it is operating properly. Heating and cooling account for approximately half of your energy bill.
- Check to make sure your home is adequately insulated. Using insulated or storm windows and doors can help reduce unwanted heat loss.
- Seal cracks or crevices where two different building materials meet and weather-strip around all doors and windows. It's also a good idea to weather-strip between heated and unheated areas such as garages, basements and attics.
- If you have a window air conditioning unit, remove it for the winter months to prevent heat from escaping through and around the unit. If it cannot be moved, buy an inexpensive cover to prevent drafts.
- Always make sure the fireplace damper seals tightly and remains closed except when a fire is burning or smoldering in the fireplace.
- Insulate your water heater with at least R-6 insulation. Your water heater is the second-largest energy user in your home. You can save enough money in energy bills to pay back the cost of materials within months and then keep on saving.
- Ceiling fans help keep you comfortable not only in the summer but in the winter as well. Reversing the direction of the blades pushes warm air down into the room. Fans should turn counter-clockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.
- Make sure heating registers and vents are not blocked by draperies or furniture. These vents should also be cleaned regularly with a vacuum or a broom.
- Take advantage of natural solar heat. On sunny days, leave the draperies open to allow the sun's rays to warm your house.