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NOVEC says to prepare now for an extra snowy winter

October 11, 2012

Contact: NOVEC Public Relations, 1-888-335-0500, customerservice@novec.com

NORTHERN VIRGINIA – AccuWeather and the Farmers’ Almanac have predicted an extra snowy winter approaching and the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative says October – National Energy Awareness Month – is the time to prepare.

“Following a snow drought during winter 2011-2012, the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England will get a snow dump this winter,” says AccuWeather.com. “Above-normal snowfall is forecast for the major I-95 cities, including New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., during winter 2012-2013.”

The Farmers’ Almanac concurs: “The eastern half of the country will see plenty of cold and snow.”

According to Bob Cornwell in NOVEC’s Energy Services Department, “Air leakage in a typical house can account for 35 percent of its annual energy consumption. That’s a lot! Stop air leaks now before winter gets here. It’s uncomfortably cold to crawl around the attic and under a crawl space to install insulation when it’s below 40 degrees. Furthermore, caulking and weatherstripping need to be done when it’s above 40 degrees.”

Energy-Saving Tips for winter:

  • Remove old, cracked caulk and apply new silicone or latex caulk with a caulking gun around windows and doors, fireplace hearths. Spray expandable foam around pipes, wires, and vents that go outside.
  • Install R38-R60 insulation – either in rolls or loose – between attic joists. Install unfaced R19 insulation batting under the house floor, accessible in the crawl space. When you replace siding, install insulation sheathing or wrap before attaching new siding.
  • Insert foam rubber insulation pads under wall outlet and switch covers. Replace covers and push child-protection inserts into outlets to stop drafts.
  • Wash windows to let the sun’s warmth help heat the house. Close window treatments at night to help keep warm air indoors.
  • Apply weatherstripping around windows. As an extra wind barrier, cover windows with window plastic available at hardware and home stores.
  • Adhere weatherstripping around drafty exterior doors and attach insulating door sweeps to help block cold air from penetrating under the threshold.
  • Keep garage doors closed most of the time if the garage is attached to the house.
  • Set the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower. Cornwell says, “Leave a heat pump thermostat at a constant setting, but if the home is unoccupied for four or more hours, set the thermostat back five degrees.”
  • Replace heating-system filters monthly. A dirty filter restricts air flow and makes the system work harder.
  • An open fireplace without glass doors draws heated indoor air up the flue. When the fireplace is not in use, close the damper and glass doors to prevent as much as 14 percent air leakage.

To learn more, go to the NOVEC Home Energy Suite at www.novec.com/homeenergysuite.

NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a not-for-profit electric utility corporation that supplies and distributes electricity and energy-related services to approximately 160,000 metered customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the Town of Clifton, and the City of Manassas Park. It is one of the largest electric companies of its kind in the nation.  For more information, visit www.novec.com or call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.

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