Home Indiana News NIPSCO Offers Safety And Energy-Saving Tips For Extreme Cold Weather

NIPSCO Offers Safety And Energy-Saving Tips For Extreme Cold Weather

MERRILLVILLE – 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.

Stay Safe, Warm And Comfortable

As temperatures drop to low levels, staying warm becomes a top priority, according to a news release from NIPSCO. Customers implementing ways to ensure their home is comfortable are reminded to do so safely.

• Keep vents clear. Be sure to clear snow and ice from intake, exhaust and/or make-up air vents. Keeping those vents clear can help customers avoid carbon monoxide buildup and operational issues with appliances.

• 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.

• Ensure appliances are installed in accordance with local building codes and manufacturer’s instructions and specifications.

• Never use a stove or oven as a source of home heating; ovens are designed to heat food and should only be operated with the door closed.

• Don’t burn charcoal or run a generator indoors or in an enclosed space.

• Clean the chimney and check for blockage at least once a year before using the fireplace.

• Always keep a natural gas meter clear and visible so it is accessible for maintenance or in the event of an emergency; never let snow completely cover the meter and don’t use a shovel or hammer to hit the equipment to break up snow or ice buildup.

• If you smells gas or think there may be a gas leak, stop what you are doing, immediately leave the area and then call 911 and NIPSCO’s emergency line at 1-800-634-3524.

• If you experience a power outage, report it online at NIPSCO.com/out, text the word “Out” to 444111 or via NIPSCO’s mobile app.

• 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 you are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, go outside immediately and call 911. 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 winter weather and home safety tips, 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, the news release states. There are also a number of low-to-no cost options for customers to save each month, including:

• Run the furnace less often. Consider setting the thermostat two to four degrees below what you 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. Utilize the sun’s energy to heat the 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 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 water conserving showerhead to waste less water.

For more ways to save energy, visit NIPSCO.com/EnergyTips.

Bill Payment Assistance

NIPSCO knows there are times when it may be difficult for you to pay your utility bill. NIPSCO offers flexible options to help customers get back on track. Call NIPSCO at 1-800-464-7726.

For more payment options, visit NIPSCO.com/bills-and-payments.