Extreme cold temperatures may create safety hazards and also lead to increased energy usage and higher bills. With frigid weather expected over the next few days, NIPSCO offers tips to prepare customers to stay safe and warm, as well as save on energy costs.
Keep Your Home Safe
While meters, regulators and outdoor piping can withstand harsh winter weather, hard-packed snow, icicles, and water dripping on outdoor equipment can create a safety hazard. Customers are reminded to follow these tips to keep their home safe during bitterly cold days:
– Keep the meter setting visible at all times so it is accessible for maintenance or in the event of an emergency.
– Never let snow completely cover the meter setting.
– Don’t use a shovel or hammer to hit the equipment to break up snow or ice.
– Don’t shovel snow up against the meter.
– Watch for freezing rain or water dripping from the roof that can create icy build-up on the meter.
– Be sure to use a broom to clear snow from the meter.
– Be careful using a snow blower or plow near the meter.
– For more winter weather safety tips, visit NIPSCO.com/WinterSafety.
Stay Warm and Comfortable
As temperatures drop to its lowest levels so far this winter, staying warm becomes a top priority. Customers implementing ways to ensure their home is comfortable are reminded to do so safely.
– Space heaters should be used with caution. When using, place the space heater on a hard, non-flammable surface away from bedding, drapes, furniture and flammable products.
– If a customer smells gas or think there may be a gas leak, they should stop what they are doing, immediately leave the area, and then call 911 and NIPSCO’s emergency line at 1-800-634-3524.
– If customers experience a power outage, they can report it online at NIPSCO.com/out or by texting the word “Out” to 444111.
– For electric emergencies, including a downed power line or any other electric-related situation, call NIPSCO’s Customer Call Center at 1-800-464-7726.
If there are concerns of a carbon monoxide build-up, or if a customer is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, they should go outside immediately and call 911. o Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, non-corrosive gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, natural gas, propane or oil) burn incompletely. The symptoms of carbon monoxide are headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, irregular breathing, and feeling ill or tired while at home, but fine when away. For more ways to keep your home safe this winter, visit: NIPSCO.com/homesafety.
Save Energy and Money
NIPSCO customers have access to energy efficiency programs and rebates designed to help manage energy usage, which often leads to bill savings. There are also a number of low-to-no cost options for customers to save each month, including:
– Run the furnace less often. Customer should set their thermostat two to four degrees below what they are used to. Wear heavier clothing to keep warm. Change air filters often throughout the season, as dirty filters block air, forcing the furnace to work harder.
– Let the sun in. Customers should utilize the sun’s energy to heat their home simply by opening drapes on windows where the sun shines directly into a room. Remember, when the sun goes down, be sure to close your drapes so they can do the job of insulating.
– Seal up leaks. Use caulk to seal leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where there are pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Seal up small gaps in those areas.
– Don’t block registers or radiators with draperies, curtains, furniture or anything else. Let the air flow freely.
– A water heater is one of the biggest energy users in the home, so use a shower timer. Quick showers usually require less hot water than taking a bath. Also, add a showerhead restrictor, to you waste less water.
For more ways to save energy, visit NIPSCO.com/SaveEnergy.