Consumers Can Prepare for Winter Heating Season and Trim Bills Consumer Tips to Save Energy and Money
October 23, 2001
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Now is the time for consumers to get ready for Old Man Winter and the 2001-2002 heating season. Temperatures are dropping with the National Weather Service forecasting a colder and wetter than average winter. Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC) offers some helpful consumer tips to conserve fuel and reduce energy bills.
Susan McLaughlin, president and CEO of Atlanta Gas Light Company, said, "By dedicating some planning time and a few dollars to winterization projects and by using a practical approach to energy use, consumers can definitely reduce their monthly heating bills."
Tips for consumers to prepare for the winter heating season:
- Add weather-stripping and caulking to doors and windows. As much as 30 to 40 percent of a home's energy load is attributed to outside air penetrating the house.
- Add weather-stripping tapes that adhere directly to door or window frames for a tight seal.
- Fit foam or rubber weather-stripping into the gaps around your doors or windows.
- Install rubber or foam bottom seals under doors.
- Add a door sweep to seal the gap at the bottom of a door from drafts.
- Change disposable air filters in your furnace two or three times a year and have the furnace inspected by a professional at least once a year.
- Check for appropriate insulation in the walls, attic and floor. Be sure to insulate pipes. Choose the right R-value, which is a measure of insulating power. Higher R-values mean greater insulating power, which provides greater household energy savings and cost savings. Look for R-values on insulation packaging or talk to a contractor.
- Turn down the water heater's thermostat setting to about 120 degrees.
- When washing clothes, use warm or cold water - not hot - and rinse with cold water.
- Install a low flow showerhead. Showers use less hot water than baths.
- Programmable thermostats can be big energy savers for homes. Different temperature settings can be programmed for day and night or different days of the week. For most people, setting the temperature in the winter to 65 degrees from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., then back to 72 degrees for the morning, can save up to 15 percent on heating bills.
- Lower your thermostat at night or whenever the house is unoccupied for more than a few hours. Close off unoccupied rooms and close heating vents
- Use the sunlight to warm rooms. Close drapes and blinds at night to retain heat.
- Wear more layers of clothing and warmer, insulated clothing while indoors.
- Put extra blankets or a down comforter on the bed.
Learn more about your home's energy usage by completing an easy, free energy audit offered on Atlanta Gas Light Company's web site at www.AtlantaGasLight.com. Additional resources for consumer information related to energy usage:
National Association of Home Builders: http://www.hbrc.org
U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.eren.doe.gov
Georgia Environmental Facility Authority: http://www.gefa.org
Residential Energy Services Network: http://www.natresnet.org