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Winter Safety and Energy-Saving Tips from Black Hills Energy

This week, Iowa forecasts are calling for chilly temperatures and the potential for measurable snowfall. With frigid air on the way, Black Hills Energy wants you to be prepared.

Here are some tips to keep you and your family warm and safe:

  • Make sure your furnace vent, gas fireplace vent and tankless/conventional water heater vent are free from any obstructions or debris.
  • Never use gas ranges, ovens or gas grills to heat your home.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors, including replacing the batteries, and inspect them regularly.
  • Natural Gas smells like rotten eggs for a reason. If your nose picks up this scent, immediately leave the area and then call 911 once you’re away from the site. Wait for Black Hills Energy or emergency personnel to arrive before re-entering the building. Emergency personnel will let you know when it’s safe to return. Never use a mobile phone, touch a light switch or start an engine while near a suspected gas leak.

Black Hills Energy suggests the following energy-saving tips:

  • Adjust your humidity. A well-humidified house at 68 degrees Fahrenheit is as comfortable as a dry house at 75 degrees.
  • Make sure your fireplace damper closes tightly when you’re not using it. Closing the damper could save 8% of your home’s heat.
  • Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans only as needed. In just one hour, these fans can blow away a house full of warmed air.
  • You could save as much as 30% of your energy costs by better insulating your attic or top floor. You can save about 8% of your energy costs by insulating the floor over any unheated areas, such as crawl spaces, basements and garages.
  • For more energy-saving tips, visit https://www.blackhillsenergy.com/efficiency-and-savings.

Consider seasonal maintenance for furnaces:

Just like scheduling an annual physical or taking your car in for tune-ups, routine furnace maintenance helps keep your furnace working safely and efficiently. Winter is a great time to evaluate electrical connections and gas valves, clean flame sensors, and inspect the carbon monoxide level in the furnace flue. Furnace inspection can help lower energy bills and avoid costly repairs down the road. For more information, visit blackhillsenergy.com/service-guard.

Additional customer resources:

Black Hills Energy offers programs to help customers effectively manage their energy bills. Customers can enroll in the Budget Billing program. It gives customers more predictable bills by averaging the amount they pay each month. That way, customers can avoid spikes in their bill due to seasonal usage. To enroll in Budget Billing visit https://www.blackhillsenergy.com/.

Customers can also seek out energy assistance options such as Black Hills Cares by visiting their local community action agency. For a list of agencies visit https://www.blackhillsenergy.com/assistance-programs/iowa-payment-assistance.

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