KISSIMMEE, Fla., December 21, 1:30 p.m. – Today is the first day of winter, and Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) encourages its customers to mark the day by conserving energy and weatherizing their home.
This is especially important due to the dramatic increase in energy costs nationwide. Although the price KUA customers pay per kilowatt-hour will remain at the same level in 2006, customers should anticipate a possible increase in their electricity bills because of increased consumption and the higher cost of fuel used to generate electricity.
The average house–even when well-insulated–contains cracks and gaps between building materials that add up to a hole about 14 inches square. In the winter, those gaps can make the house drafty and chilly. A leaky house not only wastes energy, but can lead to water damage and provide a path for insects.
KUA offers these tips to help make your home more comfortable and energy efficient:
* Install weather-stripping around exterior doors and operable windows, and around doors between heated and unheated or cooled and uncooled spaces.
* Install door bottoms, thresholds, or door “shoes” to seal gaps beneath exterior doors and doors to unheated or uncooled spaces.
* Insulate exterior walls and floors, and insulate roof or ceiling spaces to R-30 standards or above wherever possible.
* Install window treatments where feasible, such as shade screens, shades, awnings or overhangs.
* If exterior treatments are not feasible, consider interior window film, insulated drapes, valances and/or blinds or removable insulation material.
* Caulk cracks and gaps around windows and doors, in the building foundation, and between different building materials. * Repair roof leaks. Insulation will lose effectiveness when wet.
* Repair and maintain door and window weather-stripping to prevent water and moisture entry, causing doors and windows to warp and deteriorate.
* Consider permanently closing and sealing doors and windows NOT needed for building access or ventilation and that are NOT used as safety or fire exits.
* Keep doors between heated and unheated spaces and cooled and uncooled spaces closed, and install automatic door closers if needed.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116