Column: Ten energy saving tips for staying warm this winter

Blossman Propane Gas, Appliance & Service is providing 10 top energy saving tips consumers should know during the cold weather season. One of the key benefits of propane is that it doesn't degrade or go bad like other fuels, making it safe and easy to store during the winter months.

1. Change your furnace filter monthly. Clean filters will increase efficiency. If on a monthly payment plan, use receipt of your monthly propane bill as a reminder.

2. Run washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers with a full load.

3. Turn down your water heater from the standard 120 degrees to 115 degrees. You could save more than 10 percent on your water heating bill.

4. Keep your blinds open to let natural sunlight help heat your home.

5. Check your insulation: if the gap around a door or window is wider than a nickel, reapply exterior caulk. 

6. Gather the unused propane cylinders bought for gas grills, mowers or forklifts. Secure the cylinders in an outdoor storage cage or other protected storage area away from ignition sources.

7. Mark your propane tank with a flag, pole, or stake higher than the average snow cover depth for your area. These markers will help you avoid plowing into or shoveling snow on top of your tank.

8. Maintain winter access to your outdoor storage tank, keeping a path clear of snow and ice.

9. Take advantage of automatic delivery options if available. This allows the propane retailer to efficiently plan a route and keep your tank adequately supplied.

10. If you're not part of an automatic delivery program, it's recommended that you call for delivery when your tank is 30 percent full. This will avoid running empty in times of heavy snowfall when roads may be inaccessible for delivery.

Blossman Propane Gas, Appliance & Service has been providing comfort to families throughout the Southeast and Mid Atlantic for more than 60 years. Servicing customers in 12 states from 72 branches, the family-and employee-owned company sells more than 85 million gallons a year. Showrooms provide demonstrations and expertise on most national manufacturers of ranges, cooktops, water heaters, generators, gas grills and gas logs. Leading the industry in technician training, Blossman is a full-service company that provides everything from propane delivery to appliance sales, installation and service. For more information, call 1.888.Blossman or visit http://www.blossmangas.com.

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