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I&M offers tips on how to reduce energy use this winter

(Photo Supplied/Indiana Michigan Power)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is offering tips to help customers reduce energy use this winter as part of National Energy Awareness Month.

Here are some tips to help reduce energy usage:

  • Set the thermostat a little lower during winter months. Each degree of adjustment can reduce heating costs 2-3 percent.
  • Change or clean the furnace filter once a month. Dust and dirt can clog vital parts, making the furnace run harder and eventually breaking it down.
  • Have the heating system inspected regularly. A $50-$100 annual tune-up can help reduce heating costs by as much as 5 percent.
  • Vacuum registers and vents regularly. Don’t let furniture and drapes block the airflow. Plastic deflectors can direct air under tables and chairs.
  • Safely repair and/or apply weather stripping to air leaks in the home. Up to 25 percent of energy used to heat/cool homes escapes via air leaks. Problem areas include dropped ceilings, recessed lighting, attic entrances, ducts, doorframes, electrical outlets and switches, window frames and plumbing/utility access.
  • Check the outside of a home or building for air leaks. Look for leaks at the openings for water spigots, air conditioner hoses, dryer vents and gas pipes. Use caulk or expanding foam to seal.
  • If drafts sneak in under exterior doors, replace the threshold. If that isn’t possible, block the drafts with a rolled-up towel or blanket.
  • Keep furniture and drapes away from the heaters if a home or building has electric baseboard heating. Keep at least a three-inch clearance under the heating unit.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected regularly. 
  • Take extreme care when using a space heater. Place it at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including walls, and always unplug it before leaving a room.

For more tips and ideas, click here.

I&M customers can also apply for winter heating assistance. To apply, click here and then on “Find an Agency.”

They also have flexible payment options, including payment plans, payment extension and extended payment arrangements.

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