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The Number 1 Thing NOT To Do To Save Energy This Winter

The Number 1 Thing NOT Do to Save Energy This WinterAnything taken to excess has the potential to be bad for you.  Lowering your thermostat when no one is home during the day, or at night when everyone is wrapped up nice and cozy, could save you money over the winter months.  Even better, would be the programmable thermostat that takes the need to remember out of the equation.  However, NEVER, ever turn your heat completely off or venture too low.  What could save you a few dollars in gas, could cost you thousands on insurance deductibles, or even more direct to a water restoration company should the loss not be covered.    

It may seem obvious, but year after year in the restoration industry, I see real and very expensive examples of homeowners that make the mistake.  This mistake is often exacerbated by not maintaining heat when away from home for extended times.  A broken pipe flowing unchecked has the potential to quickly destroy your home and your belongings.  Consider the following before tampering with your thermostat.  

  • The thermostat turns your furnace on and off based on the temperature at the thermostat.  There is a big difference between the temperature at most thermostats and temperatures inside the walls that meet the outside of the dwelling.  It may be a cozy 70 degrees in the middle of your home, but when experiencing single digit Pittsburgh weather, your outside walls, and the area around them, are much, much colder.
  • Although most building designs limit the amount of plumbing in or near the outside walls, many kitchen sinks and toilets are placed near windows.  These are particularly susceptible to damage.
  • Many experts recommend going no lower than 50-55.  Unless you are completely confident of the insulation factors of your home, or have monitored the difference between interior temps and those around walls where there is plumbing, I would never set below 60.
  • If you’re planning to leave home for an extended period of time, consider turning your water off completely.  If this trip is going to be in the winter, additionally consider hiring a professional to winterize your home.  There are so many places like floor drains, p-traps, toilet tanks, etc. that hold water and can cause damage if a furnace malfunctions.  Unless you know what you’re doing hire someone.
  • Finally, maintaining heat is a homeowner’s responsibility on most insurance policies.  Purposely turning off the heat could have you bearing the full effects of a HUGE repair bill.

By utilizing some common sense tips you can enjoy both energy savings and avert disaster.  However, sometimes no matter how hard you try, Murphy’s Law comes down hard.  If this happens, your service professionals at Rainbow International of Plum are available 24/7 to come to your rescue.  Call us any time at 412.385.9050 if in need or if you have any questions.  At Rainbow International, We Restore, You Recover.