Be Efficient in the New Year

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Noticias Locales

Now that the New Year has arrived, Peoples Gas wants to encourage customers to add energy efficiency to their list of resolutions. An energy-efficient home can save customers, on average, up to $150 annually on their natural gas bills. Here are quick, low-cost tips and guidelines for a more energy-efficient 2017:

Insulate the water heater. Older natural gas storage water heaters can lose a lot of heat through their walls. Wrapping a heater in an insulating jacket can prevent excess heat loss and energy waste, but should be left to a professional installer so as not to accidentally cover the top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment.

Seal leaks with weather-stripping. Air sealing, specifically weather-stripping, eliminates drafts to save energy while improving air quality and comfort. Weather-stripping reduces air leakage by creating a tight seal between movable components such as doors and windows. Before application, detect air leaks and assess the ventilation. Find air leaks through a blower door test from a qualified technician, or by inspecting inside and outside the home.

Use less hot water. Reducing hot water use is an easy, affordable way to see significant savings on energy and water bills. Run the automatic dishwasher only when full, and wash and rinse full loads of laundry in cold water. Install low-flow showerheads, and don’t forget to check for and repair plumbing leaks.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Noticias Locales

Install a programmable or smart thermostat. Programmable and smart thermostats can lower heating expenses and fit any lifestyle. Set the thermostat at 68 F, and then program it to decrease the temperature 8 degrees when no one is home and overnight. Smart thermostats are similar to programmable thermostats, but they also perform more advanced functions. A smart thermostat allows you to monitor and control the temperature in your home remotely from your smartphone or other web-enabled device.

Look for ENERGY STAR. If purchasing a new appliance, make it an ENERGY STAR rated appliance. For instance, an ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator uses less energy than a regular 75-watt light bulb.

Be smart with the fireplace. Open-hearth fireplaces draw heated air from inside the home, sending it up the chimney. When using the fireplace, install a snug-fitting set of glass doors and crack open a nearby window. Doing so reduces the amount of heated interior air drawn into the fireplace and improves efficiency by up to 20 percent.

Follow these tips and guidelines to make some simple changes around the house
and reduce energy use. To sign up for Home Energy Jumpstart and receive a personalized assessment and free energy-saving products for homeowners and
renters, call 844-367-5867. For more information, visit year-round for ways to save energy and money. Peoples Gas wishes its customers a safe, happy and energy-efficient new year.

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