Minneapolis – Dec. 9, 2019 – As temperatures drop to deep-freeze levels, CenterPoint Energy reminds its Minnesota natural gas customers of some important energy efficiency and safety tips to stay safe and warm at home in the cold weather.
Make sure your heating system is operating safely and efficiently with an annual tune-up by a qualified technician. Check your furnace filter monthly and clean or change it as needed.
Set your thermostat setting to 68 degrees when you're at home and awake. Lower it at night or when you're away. Every one degree reduction in the setting can save 3-5 percent on your heating bills.
Use a smart programmable thermostat to match your household's schedule by automatically lowering the heating temperature at night or while you're away from home.
Close fireplace dampers when not in use so you don't lose heat.
Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to allow the sun's heat to warm your house. Close curtains and blinds at night so you don't lose heat when the sun goes down.
Get more information about energy-saving tips and energy efficiency incentives and programs by visiting CenterPointEnergy.com/SaveEnergy.
Fuel-burning appliances in the home have the potential to produce carbon monoxide (CO), a poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating. CO can build up to life-threatening concentrations indoors if fuel-burning devices are not properly vented, operated or maintained. CenterPoint Energy offers these safety tips to prevent CO buildup:
Properly vent and maintain fuel-burning appliances. They should be checked by a qualified technician every year to detect potential problems.
Clear obstructions such as snow and ice from vents, fresh-air intakes and chimneys.
Never use an appliance inside that is intended only for outdoor use, such as barbecue grills, camp stoves or portable generators.
Install CO alarms. Minnesota law requires that every home have at least one operational CO alarm within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement of your alarms, and keep track of the suggested replacement date.
Know the signs of CO poisoning. Early symptoms such as headache and fatigue are similar to the flu, but without a fever. Continued CO exposure can lead to more severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty thinking clearly and fainting. If everyone in a household is experiencing symptoms, it may be CO poisoning. Get fresh air immediately and call 911.
Get more information about natural gas safety at CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety.