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.”