PEARL RIVER – O&R offers these tips to help consumers save money while staying warm and safe during the winter heating season:
- Set your thermostat at the lowest comfortable setting and leave it alone during the day. Overnight, lower that setting by five to 10 degrees. Make sure the thermostat is not affected by cold drafts or direct heat sources (like a working fireplace) that could skew the readings.
- A smart thermostat is best to automatically change the heating pattern to fit your schedule. For every degree over a 68-degree setting, you use three percent more energy.
- Use weather-stripping at all attic stairwells and access openings for tight insulation.
- Stop cold air infiltration from electric switch and plug outlets by using draft blockers.
- Open curtains and/or shades of east, south and west-facing windows on sunny winter days to let the sun help you heat your home. Close them at night. Keep draperies closed all day on north-facing windows.
Also arrange for the annual inspection and maintenance of your home’s heating system by qualified professionals to help identify, address and prevent any family illness related to carbon monoxide contamination.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is invisible, odorless and tasteless. It is formed by the incomplete burning of fuels such as heating oil, wood, gasoline, natural gas, propane and charcoal.
When heating units or motors are not working properly, or if exhaust fumes and chimneys are not properly vented outdoors, carbon monoxide can accumulate in the home, building or garage. The dangers of CO can be reduced by the installation of approved CO detectors, which can provide early warning of accumulated CO before it reaches a dangerous level.
Breathing even small amounts of carbon monoxide can result in headaches, dizziness and nausea. Prolonged exposure can result in more severe illness, or even death. If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately open the windows in your home and seek medical attention.
To do your part to reduce carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Never use a gas oven or range to heat a room.
- Never leave a vehicle or gasoline-powered equipment running in a garage, even with the garage door open.
- Operate a portable electric generator outdoors away from air intakes to the building.
For additional information about energy efficiency, alternate energy supplier programs and winter energy tips, visit O&R’s Web site at www.oru.com.
O&R urges its customers to always put safety first.
Anyone who smells natural gas should leave the area immediately and call O&R’s emergency gas hotline at 1-800-533-LEAK (5325) or 911.