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especially if your house has older windows. During the daytime

Time:2018-01-05 02:47Shoes websites Click:

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If Southern California is hit with a cold snap this winter, Southern California Gas Company might not be able to meet the natural gas needs of its customers, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

Although the phrase “natural gas shortage” has been used, the problem, more precisely, is that three critical pipelines are out of service, due to storage and gas leak problems in the recent past.

A natural gas pipeline that exploded east of Barstow on Oct. 1 will remain shut down until the cause of the incident is known. A second pipeline that was damaged by the Oct. 1 explosion was repaired at the end of December and operates at reduced capacity. A third pipeline is expected to be returned to service in May 2018, while a fourth pipeline is operating at low pressure.

Even with pipelines out of order, natural gas supplies should be sufficient under normal winter weather conditions for the Southland. But the system could be strained if cold temperatures persist for a lengthy period of time. Customers are being asked to start reducing natural gas consumption now, which can help alleviate the risk of a shortage.

A fringe benefit of reducing gas consumption immediately will be noticeably lower gas bills compared to last year’s costs. So roust the family, make a pact, and implement a strategy, starting with the easy stuff.

• In the evenings and at night, shut the window blinds and draw the drapes over them. Doing this helps reduce heat loss and keeps cold air out, especially if your house has older windows.

During the daytime, open the blinds and drapes. The rays of sun coming through windows will help heat the house.

• Lower the thermostat. If you gradually turn it down a few degrees — say from 71 degrees to 68 degrees — most people won’t notice much of a difference. (Personally, I’ve worked my way down to 60 degrees when I’m home and awake, and 55 degrees at night.)

• If everyone is at work and/or school during the day, turn down the heat. If plans are for dinner and a movie, keep it down in the evening as well. When you go away for a weekend, set the thermostat at 55 degrees.

• A programmable thermostat can make the process easy by adjusting the heat on a planned schedule. Such thermostats cost between $30 and $100, but you’ll make up for it as your heating bills drop over time.

• Anyone who complains about a chill in the air must learn to love socks and slippers. Many Southern Californians — including some on the mountain — are stuck in a mindset that demands shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops. But if your feet are cold, your entire body will feel cold. Socks will keep your feet warm, and thick-bottomed slippers will provide extra protection from a cold floor.

A side benefit: Those people who run around barefoot all year leave body oil from their feet on the carpets. That oil attracts and holds dirt. But if everyone wears socks and indoor-only slippers, carpets stay cleaner longer.

• If you’re still feeling cold, add layers. If you are active (cooking, loading the dishwasher, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry) a quilted vest will keep your core warm and your arms free to move about. If you are inactive (reading or watching TV), bundle up in a sweater and a blanket.

• A lot of household activities generate heat. In addition to cooking meals, get out the stock pot and make some homemade broth to simmer on the back burner and create awesome winter soups.

• When family members take showers, keep privacy practices in tact but keep the bathroom door open enough to allow the warm steam to escape to other rooms. Don’t use the ventilation fan, since it will remove the warm, moist air that is much needed in winter.

• In addition to bathroom ventilation fans, be sure to turn off kitchen ventilation fans when they’re not needed.

• The water heater itself can be a part of the program. Turning it down from 140 degrees to 120 degrees will save on natural gas and lower monthly bills, as well as being hardly noticeable to anyone.

• Don’t let heat escape unnecessarily. Doors and windows should be shut when the heat is on. If you aren’t using the fireplace, keep the flue closed and glass doors in place to minimize heat loss.

• Check heating system filters to be sure they are clean and clear. Dirty filters lead to higher heating costs. They also cause problems for anyone with allergies.

• Water heating accounts for the second largest use of energy. Use your dishwasher, which will save energy and — bonus — save time for you.

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