NEWARK – The heating season has started. This year, more than any in recent memory, customers are concerned about how economic uncertainties may affect their ability to manage their bills, including their utility bills. PSE&G wants its customers to know there are specific steps they can take to stay warm and control their heating bill.
The following 12 suggestions will help customers conserve energy and save money:
- Lower your thermostat by just one degree, which may reduce your heating bill by 3 percent. Save even more by lowering your thermostat 2 degrees during the day and 5 to 10 degrees at bedtime if health conditions allow.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter on hot air heating systems.
- Seal flues in fireplaces you don’t use.
- Purchase and wrap an insulation blanket around the tank of your water heater. Wrap the hot water heater outlet pipe with inexpensive flexible insulating tubing to reduce the time it takes for hot water to reach your shower. Set your hot water heater to no more than 120 degrees.
- Install low-flow shower heads and take a five-minute shower instead of a bath. The average household can save up to 25 gallons of water as well as the gas used to heat the water. Install water restrictors on your kitchen and bathroom faucets.
- Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They last about 10,000 hours – 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs – and use 60-75 percent less electricity.
- Cover window air conditioners to reduce drafts. Install insulated or lined drapes on your windows.
- Use weather stripping or one-sided sticky tape to seal up cracks and stop drafts in windows and doorframes. Caulk smaller gaps. Beneath doors, install common draft guards available at hardware stores.
- On really drafty windows, use a shrink film insulation kit, or make one yourself from plastic and double-face tape.
- If you have a door leading outside from your basement, hang a full-size sheet of plastic from the door frame to keep heat from escaping. Seal windows in the basement with plastic to create a barrier against the cold. Keep your garage door closed if the garage is attached to the house.
- Seal wall switches and electrical outlets with small foam gaskets available at home improvement centers and hardware stores. Remove the cover plate, insert the gasket, and screw the cover plate back in place.
- Complete a free home energy analysis online at www.pseg.com for recommendations on how to make your home more energy efficient.
If your budget permits:
- Install (or have installed) a programmable thermostat that you can set to automatically lower room temperatures when rooms are not in use and also at bedtime if health conditions permit.
- Install ceiling fans. They’ll promote heating efficiency in winter (and cool you off in the summer).
For more energy saving tips, visit www.pseg.com/saveenergy to request a free Energy Savers brochure, and learn about a variety of payment options to help manage energy costs.
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