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POV: Stay warm, pay less this season

• Lower water heater to 120-125 degrees. Many water heaters are automatically set at 140 degrees. Lowering the temperature on your water heater to between 120 and 125 degrees will reduce the amount of fuel needed to heat the water.

• Change furnace filters every month. This is the number one reason for furnace breakdowns. Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Have a professional check and clean furnaces once a year.

• Weatherstrip doors and windows. Inspect windows and doors for air leaks. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window needs sealing. Air leaks can be sealed with caulking or weather-stripping.

• Insulate water pipes coming from the water heater. Insulate the first three to six feet of cold and hot water pipes near the water heater. Insulating all hot water pipes is not necessary where pipes are located in a crawlspace or attic.

• Add an insulation blanket to water heater. Wrapping the water heater with an insulation blanket can save heating money by slowing the drop in temperature from the hot water tank as it sits unused. Inexpensive insulation kits are available at most home improvement stores.

•Add insulation to attic. When adding insulation, start at the top and work down only after eliminating air infiltration.

• Convert from oil to natural gas. Compared to two years ago, the typical bill for a residential heating customer in New York is projected to decrease between 15 percent and 19 percent this coming winter heating season. Natural gas burns clean and can increase energy efficiency by up to 30 percent compared to other heating sources. A typical National Grid customer in the northeast United States who converts from heating oil to natural gas saves enough CO2 in one year to equate to about 15 cars being taken off the road.

In addition to following these simple tips, National Grid offers several high efficiency heating program incentives to help make your home more energy efficient. For more information on National Grid’s Energy Efficiency programs and incentives for resident, businesses and commercial customers, visit www1.nationalgridus.com/EnergyEfficiencyPrograms.

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