Flowers blooming, birds singing and the return of bees and butterflies can mean only one thing: spring is right around the corner. It is a welcome sign that warmer weather is coming, and it also serves as a seasonal reminder to consider performing a few routine safety checks, such as inspecting your home’s natural gas piping and appliances and ensuring smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are in working condition. Atmos Energy provides these tips:
MAINTAIN YOUR NATURAL GAS LINES
- In most states served by Atmos, customers are responsible for the maintenance and service of natural gas appliances and natural gas lines from the meter into the home.
- Customer-owned natural gas lines include all piping that goes from your natural gas meter to the appliances on your property. This includes a pool or spa heater, barbeque and other natural gas appliances. For safety, operate appliances in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. House piping should be tested or inspected periodically by a licensed plumber.
MONITOR FOR CARBON MONOXIDE
- Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas emitted when fuel is burned in cars, trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, natural gas ranges or furnaces. It can be poisonous to humans if it builds up indoors.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends replacing your CO detector every five years and installing a battery-operated or battery backup CO detector in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of a home.
- The CDC also advises buying a detector with a digital readout to best detect the highest level of carbon monoxide concentration.
LOWER ENERGY COSTS
Even with warmer weather on the way, there are still several steps Atmos customers can take to control energy costs. Using energy wisely and making a few household changes can make a big difference in natural gas and other energy bills. Plus, using less energy can help a home's carbon emissions.
- Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. Water heating accounts for as much as 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home.
- Reduce shower and bath time, which can account for 40 percent of your hot water use.
- Operate your clothes washer, dryer and dishwasher only when fully loaded.
- Change or clean heating and air conditioning unit filters regularly and according to the manufacturer's instructions. Equipment will use less energy if it ‘breathes’ more easily.
- Use the pool heater sparingly.