Monday, December 10, 2018

12 hints to keep your house safe and your costs down this holiday season

Unlike an Elf on the Shelf, we can’t watch over your home this holiday season, but we can give you some gifts. Here are 12 helpful hints to make sure your holidays are safe and your home is cozy.

Hint 1: Holiday treats in the oven? Peek using the oven light, because opening the door can cause your energy use and cooking time to rise.

Hint 2: It’s the most wonderful time of the year to inspect your lights. Look for broken or frayed wires, and broken or loose connections to avoid potential fires or shocks. If you find problems, replace and repair.

Hint 3: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow – but please remove snow and ice from meters because it can stress meter piping, causing a natural gas leak.

Hint 4: Make it the hap-happiest season of all by lowering your thermostat seven to 10 degrees from its normal setting, especially when you are asleep or away from home more than 8 hours, to save as much as 10 percent a year on heating costs.

Hint 5: It’s a clinker! Don’t let the blasted furnace make your holiday story bitter. Clean or replace air filters in your heating system.

Hint 6: Feeling frosty? Use a space heater safely by keeping wrapped gifts, tissue paper and draperies at least six feet away to reduce a fire risk.

Hint 7: Gathering faithful friends and family near to you for a holiday feast? Using a small pan or pot on a large burner can waste more than 40 percent of the heat being produced.

Hint 8: Nothing says the holidays like a tasty casserole. If you use glass or ceramic pans for baking, you can turn down the oven temperature by 25 degrees and your dish will cook just as quickly.

Hint 9: Roasting chestnuts in your oven? As long as the oven door remains closed, enough heat will be stored inside to finish cooking your meal for the last few minutes.

Hint 10: Did Mister Snow Miser create icicles above your meter? You better watch out! They can fall and damage meter piping. Dripping water can also re-freeze, causing extra weight to build up on the meter.

Hint 11: As you deck the halls for the holidays, use weatherstripping and caulk to seal gaps around windows, doors and siding, which will improve your energy efficiency and leave you feeling jolly.

Hint 12: Getting ready for a holiday feast? Check that the flame is blue on your natural gas range to safely prepare your holiday dishes. Make sure your range top is clean as well.

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