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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > Stay Safe and Warm, and Save Money

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Stay Safe and Warm, and Save Money

By Lori Hendrickson, Extension Educator

As winter approaches, we need to think about things we should do to stay safe and warm at home, as well as save money on heating bills. Follow these tips:
  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees while you’re awake and lower when you’re asleep or away from home. According to the energy.gov website, you can save 5–15 percent a year on your heating bill by turning your thermostat back 10–15 degrees for eight hours. You also can save on heating bills by closing off rooms you are not using.
  • Keep extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats available if the power goes out.
  • Wear long johns under your clothes. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
  • Do not use your stovetop or oven for heat. This is not safe. Besides posing a fire hazard, turning on stove burners or your oven to provide additional heat in your home can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Portable space heaters are a good choice as an additional heat source, but use them safely. Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing element. Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water and keep it at least three feet away from furniture and drapes. Likewise, never leave children or pets unattended near a space heater.
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