Curb energy use during cold spell

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Public Utility District offers some advice to keep energy consumption down during this week’s cold spell while remaining comfortable and safe.

•Set the thermostat no higher 68 degrees during the day and no lower than 55 degrees at night. This will use less energy and still will keep the home warm. Elderly customers or those with small babies may want to keep their homes warmer.

Concentrate the living area to a few warm rooms. Shut the furnace vents off in any rooms that are not used regularly, or turn off the baseboard heaters, and close the door. With some forced-air furnace systems, there may be a loss of efficiency or a build-up of heat in the furnace if more than a quarter of the vents are shut off.

Keep window drapes and shades closed as much as possible. Windows are a major source of heat loss.

An open fire in the fireplace is not an efficient way to heat a home. Whenever a fireplace or wood stove is not in use, close the damper to prevent warm air from escaping up the chimney.

Make sure water pipes are protected from the cold so they don’t freeze and burst.

Move furniture, draperies, or other items that may block the flow of heated air from the furnace vents or from the baseboard or in-wall heaters.

Keep portable heaters away from anything flammable, such as curtains, furniture, or bed clothes. Never leave a heater unattended and make sure your heater has a mechanism that will turn it off if it is knocked over. If you use a portable heater that burns liquid fuel, such as kerosene, make sure the room is well ventilated.

Never use a stove or grill indoors for heat. Using a gas stove or charcoal grill inside the home for heating can be fatal. Grills emit carbon monoxide — a colorless, odorless gas — that can kill a person in just minutes if inhaled at high levels, such as inside a house with windows shut.

Dress warmly, in layers. Several lightweight, loose layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one heavy layer. Gloves, a hat and a scarf also will help.

Keep an eye on friends and neighbors who might be vulnerable to the cold weather.

For more information, call PUD Customer Service at 425-783-1000 or visit the utility’s website at www.snopud.com.

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