Frigid weather is here, and heating systems are working extra hard. With three months of bill credits this winter, PSE&G residential customers will pay about 30 percent less for gas this season. But there are simple ways to lower bills even more:
• Lower your thermostat by just one degree, which may reduce your heating bill by up to 3 percent. Save even more by lowering your thermostat 2 degrees during the day when you are home, and 5 to 10 degrees when you are away and at bedtime, if health conditions permit.
• Close fireplace dampers when not in use.
• Close and latch your windows.
• Set your hot water heater to no more than 120 degrees.
• Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators, and baseboard element covers. Open any register or baseboard dampers.
• Remove or cover window air conditioners to reduce drafts. Install insulated or lined drapes on your windows.
• Open your curtains and blinds that face the sun on sunny days to warm your home, and close them at night to keep the warm air inside.
• Use weather stripping or caulk to seal up cracks and prevent drafts in windows and doorframes. Beneath doors, install draft guards available at hardware stores.
• Use a shrink film insulation kit, commonly available at home improvement centers, on drafty windows or make one yourself from plastic sheeting and double-faced tape.
• Seal wall switches and electrical outlets on exterior walls of your home with small foam gaskets available from home improvement centers and hardware stores. Remove the cover plate, insert the gasket, and screw the cover plate back in place.
• Keep your garage door closed if the garage is attached to the house.
• 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 at bedtime, if health conditions permit.
• Check for sufficient water levels in the sight glass for steam heating systems to ensure maximum efficiency. Clean or replace the furnace filter on hot air heating systems.
• Visit PSE&G’s Home Energy Toolkit at www.pseg.com/toolkit. You can calculate the energy efficiency of your home and find out how to save energy and money on appliances and heating systems.
When making home improvements, always wear the appropriate safety equipment such as eye protection, gloves and a mask to protect against dust; and remember to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors for proper operation and replace their batteries at least once every year.
More energy saving tips and tools are available at www.pseg.com/saveenergy.