Gastonia, N.C., Jan. 9, 2004 - After a relatively mild fall, winter weather has definitely arrived. Heating systems are clicking on and staying on, which increases the demand for natural gas and other energy fuels. To help customers manage their winter heating costs, PSNC Energy suggests the following simple yet cost-saving measures.
- Set your thermostat to 68º in the winter. With each degree you lower your thermostat, you can reduce heating costs by about five percent.
- On sunny winter days, let the sun help warm your house by opening your blinds and drapes. Keep blinds and drapes closed during night-time hours.
- Caulk and weather strip air gaps around windows and doors. An eighth of an inch gap around a door is the equivalent to having a softball-sized hole in the wall of your home.
- Check air ducts. Air duct leakage is very common (even on new systems) and can cause your energy usage to increase considerably. Have a licensed heating contractor inspect your ducts for any leaks.
- Check air filters. Dirty air filters not only increase your energy usage, they can also damage your heating system. Use only filters approved for your specific system.
These tips, plus a home energy checklist and information on natural gas wholesale prices can be found on the PSNC Energy's Web site at www.psncenergy.com.
PSNC Energy is franchised to serve a 28-county service area in North Carolina and distributes natural gas to approximately 395,000 winter-peak customers in 96 cities and communities ranging from the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas in the north central part of the state; the Concord, Statesville, Gastonia, and Forest City areas in the Piedmont; to the Asheville, Hendersonville, and Sylva areas in the western part of the state. More information about PSNC Energy is available through the company's web site at www.psncenergy.com