Energy saving tips for the cold weather season

NASHVILLE (press release)—With cooler weather soon on the horizon, many consumers will be turning up the heat to beat back the chill in their homes. And as home energy use increases, so does utility bills. With this in mind, the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) is offering a few energy savings tips to help save money during coming cold weather season.

First and foremost, have your furnace and gas appliances serviced annually by a qualified contractor to ensure safety and maximum energy-efficiency. As you “tighten up” your home for energy-efficiency, you may even want to install a CO detector for added safety. Also, when buying a new heating system or appliance, compare energy-efficiency ratings and annual operating costs. A slightly higher initial cost for a high efficiency unit could pay itself back in a very short time through energy savings and lower utility bills.

Install a programmable thermostat and set it to accurately follow your daily schedule. If no one is home during the day, there’s no need to keep your home warm. By using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or cooling unit according to a pre-set schedule. The typical programmable thermostat can store and repeat daily settings that can be manually overridden without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly schedule.

Also, avoid blocking heating registers and air returns with furniture, draperies or carpet and keep window coverings open on sunny days to let the sun’s warmth in and close them at night to insulate against cold, outside air.

Lastly, put on that favorite sweater and set your thermostat to between 65 and 68 degrees during the winter. For sleep hours, set the temperature at least 5 degrees lower and add a cozy blanket to your bed. And when away from home for more than a few hours (if not use a programmable thermostat), set your thermostat at 58 degrees. Warmer temperatures are recommended for homes with ill or elderly persons or infants.

For more energy saving tips, visit the TRA at http://ow.ly/f8dIS.

The mission of the TRA is to promote the public interest by balancing the interests of utility consumers and providers. For more information on the TRA, visit online at www.tn.gov/tra.

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