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MidAmerican Energy News

10 Tips to Save Energy and Money this Heating Season

DES MOINES, Iowa – (Oct. 26, 2015) – With temperatures dropping and fall well underway, now is the ideal time to prepare your home for colder weather and use less energy this winter. Less energy can mean a lower monthly bill.

Here are 10 no- or low-cost tips from MidAmerican Energy Company on how to winterize your home and keep more money in your pocket.

1. Get a HomeCheck®: Take advantage of MidAmerican Energy’s free energy assessment program, which evaluates where your home uses the most energy and what you can do to reduce waste – things like adding insulation, sealing windows and doors, changing to LED light bulbs, using a low-flow shower head, upgrading your heating and cooling system, and more. Customers can complete a HomeCheck online or can schedule an in-home energy assessment with one of our energy experts by calling 800-545-0762.

2. Roll it out: Make sure your home has adequate insulation. This includes the attic, exterior walls, floors, basement and crawl spaces. In unheated areas, be sure to insulate around furnace ducts or boiler pipes. This is one of the best ways to maintain a uniform temperature within your home, reduce the amount of heat that escapes and keep you warmer.

3. Service your furnace: Your home heating system needs routine maintenance to run properly and efficiently, just like your vehicle. A yearly tune-up by a licensed contractor can ensure that your heating system is running efficiently and safely and will keep you comfortable. By maintaining your equipment, you can prevent future problems and costly repairs.

4. Change your filters: Fall is a great time to change your furnace filter since a dirty filter makes the system work harder and use more energy than necessary. At a minimum, you should change your filter every three months. However, it may need replaced more during heavy use months, such as winter. If the filter is dirty, change it.

5. Set it smart: Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter to save energy and money. Consider installing a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature lower when you’re asleep or away. For every degree below 68 in the winter, you’ll reduce your energy use by approximately four percent over a 24-hour period.

6. Seal it up: Use weather-stripping and caulk to seal air leaks and block drafts around doors, windows, chimneys, electric outlets and other potential areas for air leakage, including the basement and attic.

7. Buy it right: Install ENERGY STAR® lighting and appliances in your home. ENERGY STAR CFL and LED light bulbs use 70-90 percent less energy and last 10 to 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.

8. Wrap it up: Put clear plastic sheets over the inside or outside of your windows to reduce heat loss and increase comfort. Window wrap kits are available at your hardware or home store.

9. Let it shine: Keep drapes, shades and blinds open on sunny winter days, especially on the south side of your home. During cold, windy days, closed drapes double as insulators.

10. Keep it clear: Make sure your air registers and radiators are not blocked by furniture, rugs, drapes or other objects. Be sure to dust or vacuum registers or radiators on a regular basis.

For more tips on how to make your home or business more energy efficient this winter, visit http://www.midamericanenergy.com/ee/.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 746,000 customers and natural gas service to 726,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.