Keeping Warm, while saving energy

Icy Lake

This weekends weather will not match the polar vortex we experienced two years ago and pictured here. But it might feel that way after the mild winter we have been experiencing. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

This winter has been rather mild, but over the next several days unseasonable highs will quickly transform into typical northeast Ohio January lows.

As you plan for the days ahead we thought this would be a good time to share some basic safety principles and energy saving tips.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offers the following tips to keep you safe as you begin bringing out heaters:

  • Keep all furniture, draperies, and other household objects, at least, three feet from the in-wall fan heaters and 12 inches from baseboard heaters. Keep portable space heaters, at least, three feet way from all flammable materials.
  • Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  • If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone from inadvertently turning it back on.

Fireplace Safety

Fireplaces can be romantic and cozy yet they can be extremely hazardous if you do not exercise proper caution.  The most important step is to be certain that your fireplace was constructed for actual use, not just for decoration.  If installing a factory-made fireplace, make sure that you have adequate heat barriers and you aren’t putting it near anything combustible.

If you plan on using your fireplace regularly, you should have your chimney cleaned annually, and ensure that it is clear of leaves, pine needles and any other debris.  You should never use flammable liquids to ignite a fire, nor burn any cardboard, trash or debris in your fireplace.  Always use a screen around the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out.  Never leave your fire unattended, and be certain the flames are completely out before retiring for the night or whenever leaving the house.  Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and place smoke alarms on every level of your home.  By following these handy tips you should be able to enjoy a warm cozy winter in front of your fireplace, and save on your heating bill.

Energy Saving Tips:

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEAT FROM THE SUN

Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

COVER DRAFTY WINDOWS

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE

When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your   temperature. Find out how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings.

FIND AND SEAL LEAKS

Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

Find out how to detect air leaks. Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk. Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEMS

Schedule service for your heating system.

Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.

Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed. Find out more about maintaining your furnace or boiler.

Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently.

Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.

 FOR THE FIREPLACE

  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly–approximately 1 inch–and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  • Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.

 

 

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It’s Flashback Friday!

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Playhouse Square in 1928. Trolleys were the primary mode of transportation and the area was booming. (Photo courtesy of Cleveland Press Collection)

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Christmas Flashback Friday

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

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A look at Cleveland Public Power when we were known as Muny Light and operated a generation plant on Cleveland’s shoreline. This is during the era of Mayor Dennis Kucinich. (Photo courtesy of teachingcleveland.org)

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Protect Your Home – Christmas Tree Safety Tips

It’s that time of the year, the trees are decorated with all the beautiful ornaments and children’s creations collected over the years. The lights have been strung and nightly you “Ooh and Ahh” at a job well done.

Christmas Tree fire

During a recent controlled burn, Cleveland firefighters demonstrated how quickly a Christmas tree can burn. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

To ensure you and your family will have fond memories of this time and avoid tragedy, here are a few tips from a recent Cleveland Public Safety Demonstration:

  1. If your tree is real. be sure to water it daily to prevent it from dying.
  2. If the tree is artificial make sure it is labeled fire retardant.
  3. Keep electric cords away from the water basin of the tree.
  4. Plug no more than three strands of lights into each electrical cord or outlet.
  5. If you are using a space heater in the room where the tree is, keep it at least three feet away from the tree.
  6. Watch the video posted on Cleveland TV20’s YouTube Channel found here.
Fully engulfed tree

The tree is now fully engulfed in flames. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

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Welcome to Flashback Friday

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Santa greets the crowd in downtown Cleveland in 1956. (Photo courtesy of Cleveland Memory Project, taken by Cleveland Press Photographer Bill Nehez)

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9 Shopping days left – Shop Local

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This t-shirt is an example of some of the great Cleveland themed apparel and accessories you will find at CLE Clothing and Native Cleveland.

As a city of Cleveland utility, Cleveland Public Power regularly cites buying local as an advantage to potential customers. “During our discussions with community members we regularly tell them an investment in CPP is an investment in Cleveland,” said Shelley M. Shockley, marketing manager.

With that philosophy in mind, we were intrigued last month when Carl Baldesare of “The Keep It Local Project” said, “If everybody in Cuyahoga County spends $100 locally this holiday season, it will bring over $100 million back to the local community,” during a newscast on Small Business Saturday.

This information fed our desire to continue that movement and encourage our customers and reader to shop local this holiday season and beyond.

First up is CLE Clothing Company, a boutique specializing in everything Cleveland! The venture began when two lifelong friends – a graphic designer and an entrepreneur joined forces and bought a printing press in 2008 and has grown into an online “wear-house” and brick and mortar locations in two of Cleveland’s thriving neighborhoods – E. 4th St. in downtown and the Waterloo Arts District in Collinwood.

One of the unique features of these stores is the collaborative nature of the business. While the CLE Clothing line is the signature item, the stores also carry jewelry, accessories, and furniture all locally sourced by Cleveland artisans.

As you shop over the next nine days keep them in mind as we reinvest in the city of Cleveland!

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“The Grinch” targets local businesses this holiday season

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CLEVELAND – As families make last-minute preparations for the holidays, “The Grinch” disguised as telephone scammer is seeking to spoil the season. Cleveland Public Power has learned from customers that thieves are once again preying on utility customers to make a quick buck. This week, a commercial business customer was contacted and threatened with disconnection of their electric service by CPP’s competitor if they did not go to a local grocery store in Cleveland Heights and purchase a pre-paid card, and then call a toll-free number and make a payment to the Disconnection Department.

Fortunately, the customers suspected something was amiss and contacted CPP’s Customer Service Center and reported the incident.

The Department of Public Utility Police Department has been and will continue to look into these calls, and Cleveland Public Power is urging its customers to disregard these calls.

“This scam is targeting commercial businesses and while Cleveland Public Power will contact these customers about their bills, we would not refer them to a third party payment option. Any suspicious activity like this should be reported to the Public Utilities Police at (216) 443-2426,” said Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson.

Henderson also said, “When there is a threat of disconnection the only way to make payments would be in person in our Payment Center, by calling in and making a payment with our Customer Service representatives or make an online payment yourself.”

Cleveland Public Power will post notices about the scam on its website and through its social media sites.

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