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NOVEC says: Stay warm for less cost with these 10 energy-saving tips

With temperatures in the teens this week and snow in the forecast, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative wants everyone to stay warm inside—without spending a lot on energy—because as the 1944 Frank Loesser song says, “Baby it’s cold outside.” 

“Most consumers have higher electric bills in December and January,” according to Bob James, NOVEC energy specialist, in a news release/ “People keep lights and lamps on longer due to fewer daylight hours. They use more kilowatt-hours for holiday lights, cooking, and entertainment. And a household with lots of family members, relatives, and guests will use lots of hot water. But by far, the biggest energy user in winter is the heating system.”

To reduce energy costs while keeping warm indoors, James recommends these 10 energy-saving tips:

1. Set a furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower. Generally, leave a heat pump thermostat at a constant setting. Otherwise invest in a programmable thermostat designed for a heat pump.

2. Replace heating-system filters regularly. A dirty filter reduces efficiency and comfort.

3. Set a water heater thermostat at 120 degrees or between “hot” and “warm.”

4. Open drapes, blinds, and shades on south- and west-facing windows during the day to let in the sun. Close treatments at night to trap solar heat indoors.

5. Close glass doors over a wood-burning fireplace to prevent home heat from going up the chimney. When not in use, close the fireplace’s flue damper as well as glass doors.

6. Be sure windows and storm windows are shut and locked. For extra insulation, cover windows indoors with clear plastic sold in kits found in hardware stores.

7. Attach insulating sweeps on exterior doors at thresholds to block cold-air drafts. Or push old towels against thresholds temporarily.

8. Keep doors of an attached garage closed as much as possible to prevent cold air infiltrating indoors.

9. Install an insulating attic-door cover or insulate around the door.

10. Turn off lights, televisions, and other electronics in unoccupied rooms.

For many more energy-saving ideas, go to

About NOVEC. Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, NOVEC is a not-for-profit corporation that provides electricity to more than 167,000 metered customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the City of Manassas Park, and the Town of Clifton.

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