NEW YORK – February is typically one of the coldest months of the year on Long Island, bringing snow, biting winds and frigid temperatures. But, there are ways to help save energy and money at home while waiting for the warmth of spring.
PSEG Long Island’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program provides a home energy audit and is available to all single-family accounts. With Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, certified contractors will visit a home to perform an energy assessment and issue a report with recommendations on applicable energy efficiency measures. Customers who participate in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program can save up to 20 percent on their monthly energy bill.
A typical home assessment includes a blower door test to locate leaks that lead to heat loss, testing to uncover carbon monoxide/moisture problems, health and safety testing and issuing a final Comprehensive Home Assessment report with recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades. With the report, customers can decide which energy efficiency measures they would like to take, such as air and duct sealing, installing more insulation in an attic, or even replacing an HVAC central air conditioning system.
In addition to PSEG Long Island programs, customers can take steps on their own to save energy and money during the cold weather.
Keep your heating thermostat at the lowest temperature comfortable for you. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat to automatically raise and lower the temperature in your home according to your lifestyle.
Take advantage of natural sunlight. Open curtains and drapes during the day to let the sun warm your home and close them at night for insulation.
Keep the heat in. Check for drafts around windows and doors, and seal any openings with weather stripping or a rolled up blanket. A drafty house lets warm air escape and is much more costly to keep warm.
Avoid portable electric heaters as they are extremely costly to operate. If you need to use a portable electric heater, make sure to follow all safety precautions to avoid damage or injury.
Lower your water heater temperature to 120° F (or “Warm”). You may save even more energy by wrapping an older water heater in a special insulation blanket. A quick check: if your water heater is warm to the touch, additional insulation may be needed.
Always put safety first and never use an oven or other cooking device as a heat source for your home. It also is a good idea to check on elderly neighbors and relatives during the extreme cold.
For more information on how to make smart energy choices and become more energy efficient during the winter months, visit www.psegliny.com/savemoney.