For Immediate Release
• During the winter, heating systems typically account for more than 40 percent of customers’ energy bills. For systems other than heat pumps, set thermostats at 68 degrees F, if health allows. For every degree below 73 degrees, customers can see a 2-4 percent decrease in energy use.
• Customers who heat with older model electric heat pumps are especially vulnerable to sharp increases in usage when auxiliary heating is activated during cold weather. On days where the temperature dips below freezing, a heat pump can use 2 to 3 times as much energy as it does compared to periods where the temperature is above 30 to 40 degrees. Customers who heat with heat pumps should check with the manufacturer for recommendations on the temperature setting to ensure that systems are working at the highest efficiency.
• Natural gas customers should consider setting the thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night. This can help customers see a 3-4 percent decrease in energy use.
• Change the furnace filter regularly. A dirty filter forces the furnace to work harder.
• Install an approved insulation blanket around the water heater and insulate the first three feet of water pipe (keep insulation at least 6 inches from the flue on gas water heaters).
• Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F and conserve hot water when you can.
Heating water is the second largest use of energy in your home in the winter months.
• Open curtains and drapes during the day, to let the sun warm your home, and close them at night for insulation.
• Don’t heat unused spaces. Close vents in unused rooms and shut doors to unused rooms, closets and basements.
• Caulk and weather strip windows and doors to keep cold air out.
• Check/add attic insulation to reach a level of R-38 or 12 inches.
• Wash clothes in cold or warm water and rinse in cold water to reduce water heater usage.
• Over the long term, make your home or business more energy efficient, using BGE’s Quick Home Energy Check-up or Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, improved insulation, high efficiency appliances and other measures.
• Have the furnace checked by a licensed professional to be sure it is operating efficiently and seal any leaks in furnace ducts. BGE offers rebates for these and other home efficiency improvements through the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program®.