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PUD offers tips for weathering winter cold spells

December 24, 2012 · Updated 8:30 PM
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Snohomish County PUD offers the following advice to save energy, stay safe and be comfortable in your home during winter storms:

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 to 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, the baseboard or in-wall heaters.

Keep portable heaters away from anything flammable, such as curtains, furniture or bedclothes. 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: 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 its 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. Winter preparedness tips also are available online at www.takewinterbystorm.org.

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