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PUD offers tips for weathering cold spells

SMOKEY POINT — With La Nina expected to bring colder weather to the Pacific Northwest, the Snohomish County PUD is offering the following tips to area residents to help them keep their energy consumption under control and stay warm during upcoming cold spells.

You'll use less energy and will still keep your home warm if you set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees during the day and no lower than 55 degrees at night. Elderly customers or those with small babies may want to keep their homes warmer.

Concentrate your living in a few warm rooms. If you have rooms that are not used regularly, shut the furnace vent off or turn off the baseboard heaters, and close the door. With some forced-air furnace systems, there may be a loss of efficiency or a build-up of heat in the furnace if more than one-fourth of the vents are shut off.

Keep your window drapes closed as much as possible. Windows are a major source of heat loss.

An open fire in the fireplace is not an efficient way to heat your home. Whenever you're not burning wood, close the damper in your fireplace or wood stove to prevent warm house air from escaping up the chimney.

Make sure water pipes are protected from the cold so they don't freeze and burst.

Move furniture, draperies or other items that may block the flow of heated air from the furnace vents or from the baseboard or in-wall heaters.

Keep portable heaters away from anything flammable, such as curtains, furniture or bed clothes. Never leave a heater unattended and make sure your heater has a mechanism that will turn it off if it is knocked over. If you use a portable heater that burns liquid fuel, such as kerosene, also make sure the room is well ventilated.

A critical reminder about potential carbon monoxide poisoning is to never use a stove or grill indoors to heat your home. Using a gas stove or charcoal grill inside your home for heating can have deadly results. They emit carbon monoxide — a colorless, odorless gas — that can kill a person in just minutes if inhaled at high levels, such as inside a house with the windows shut.

Don't forget to take care of yourself by dressing warmly. Dress in layers. Several lightweight, loose layers of clothes will keep you warmer than one heavy layer. Gloves, a hat and a scarf also will help.

Keep an eye on your friends and neighbors who might be vulnerable to the cold weather.

Customers with additional questions can call PUD Customer Service at 425-783-1000 or visit the utility's website at www.snopud.com.

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