IUB Issues Winter Energy/Safety Tips - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

IUB Issues Winter Energy/Safety Tips


With Iowa now enduring another blast of winter weather, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) reminds utility customers that cold weather may persist into the second half of this winter and to reduce higher-cost utility bills with safe energy saving methods.

The following simple steps can help keep you and your family safe and warm at home when temperatures drop:

  • Never use a gas stove or oven for space heating
  • Never leave open burning fireplaces, candles, or active space heaters unattended
  • Always ensure adequate venting if you use a fireplace or wood burning stove
  • Indoor use is not recommended for gas or kerosene heaters, stoves, and grills
  • Portable generators or engines of any kind, should never be used indoors, even with open windows or doors, as the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal    

In addition, lower the thermostat whenever possible and consider installing a programmable thermostat. Never reduce the temperature to a setting that might adversely impact the health of anyone in the home. It is recommended to lower the temperature by a few degrees when sleeping and by several additional degrees when residents are away from home. When the residence is unoccupied, do not set the temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or the water pipes may freeze.


Other tips that can safely reduce energy use and save energy dollars include:

  • Inspect, clean, and change furnace filters regularly
  • Havee heating systems serviced annually by a qualified professional
  • Ensure air registers, heating ducts, and radiators are clean and not covered or blocked  
  • Receive a professional energy assessment (check with your local utility)
  • Weatherize exterior windows and doors
  • Turn off extra lights, electronic devices, exhaust fans, and appliances when not in use
  • Unplug or turn off the power strip to electronic equipment even when the electronics are off (phantom energy use)
  • Open or close window coverings to let in sunlight or insulate against cold and wind
  • Upgrade insulation in the attic, walls, floors, basement, or crawl spaces
  • Replace inefficient windows and old or inefficient furnaces and water heaters

When replacing windows and furnaces, check to ensure they are Energy Star certified. Many utilities offer free energy assessments and/or cash rebates to customers for various energy efficiency investments. Contact your local gas or electric utility for more information about steps to become more energy efficient, while staying safe this winter. Visit the IUB's web site for additional energy saving information.  

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