Four Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Comfortable This Winter | Atmos Energy
Four Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Comfortable This Winter

Four Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Comfortable This Winter

Safety
December 2, 2021

Natural gas is an affordable and reliable source of energy that provides everyday comfort and convenience. As colder temperatures set in, we encourage a few routine household checks to keep your family safe and comfortable this winter. 

Maintain Your Natural Gas Lines
  • In most states served by Atmos Energy, customers are responsible for the maintenance and service of natural gas appliances and natural gas lines from the meter into their homes.  

  • Customer-owned natural gas lines include all piping that goes from your natural gas meter to the appliances on your property.  This also includes pool/spa heater, barbequeor other natural gas appliances 

  • Inspecting your home’s natural gas piping and appliances along with maintaining other common alarms and detectors around the house are important boxes to check as winter approaches. 

Make Small Changes to Save Energy and Money
  • As the weather gets colder, you use more energy to maintain a warm house, generate hot water, and cook meals. However, by making a few household changes, you can reduce energy usage and help your family control energy costs while staying safe and warm as temperatures start to drop. 
  • Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 58 degrees when you are away from home. 

  • Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. Water heating accounts for as much as 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home.  

  • Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use.  

  • Reduce your shower time and take baths only when necessary. Showering and bathing can account for 40 percent of your home's hot water use.  

  • Operate your clothes washer, dryer, and dishwasher only when fully loaded.  

  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Leaving the damper open is like keeping a window wide open – warm air goes right up the chimney!   

  • If you have a pool, do not use the pool heater. Instead, run your pool pump during the coldest part of the day to circulate the water and prevent freezing.  

  • Atmos Energy offers rebates for high-efficiency natural gas appliances, energy-saving devices, and weatherization upgrades for customers in Colorado, Mississippi, and in the north, central, and east Texas areas. Visit www.atmosenergy.com/rebates for details.  

Manage Your Natural Gas Bill

  • Budget Billing is a great tool to help manage your budget because your natural gas bill will be more predictable every month. In the winter, your bill can rise unexpectedly as the weather gets colder. However, with Budget Billing your costs are spread more evenly throughout the year, so you are not surprised with high winter bills. Visit www.atmosenergy.com/budgetbilling to learn more.   

  • Installment plansare available that spread out payments of your balance over time – with no charges or fees to do so. Call 888.286.6700 or visit www.atmosenergy.com/AccountCenter to establish a plan that meets your needs.  

  • We also offer an online tool that compares your current bill with a previous bill so you can better understand how the weather, billing days, and charges impact your bill. Log in to the Account Center and select “Billing and Usage” to use the bill comparison tool. 

  • If you are struggling to pay your natural gas bill, help is available. Financial assistance is available from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) program, in addition to Atmos Energy’s Sharing the Warmth funds through local assistance agencies. Visit atmosenergy.com/assistance to find an energy assistance agency near you. 

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, and 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 back-up 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.   

For home safety tips and to learn more about customer-owned natural gas piping, please visit https://www.atmosenergy.com/safety/home-safety, and for more energy-saving tips visit www.atmosenergy.com/energytips.