Understand the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas produced by burning fossil fuels and wood. When unsafe levels of carbon monoxide are present, the results can be fatal. In general, properly installed and maintained natural gas appliances produce very little to no carbon monoxide. View the tips below to help avoid potential carbon monoxide poisoning in your home:
- Avoid using products inside your home that generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, such as generators, barbecues, propane heaters and charcoal.
- Verify that natural gas appliances are properly installed and maintained.
- Check to make sure the fireplace flue is open before lighting a fire to allow smoke to vent safely through the chimney.
- Schedule a free inspection by a PG&E representative to verify your gas appliances are safe to operate.
- Get information on gas safety, and learn what to do if you suspect an emergency. Visit Gas Safety.
- Learn more about carbon monoxide. Visit Carbon Monoxide.
Small changes can quickly add up to big savings
Try these tips:
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower when you're at home, health permitting. Each degree above 68 degrees uses 3 to 5 percent more energy.
- Set your thermostat to 56 degrees when you leave the house. Turning your thermostat down by 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating bill.
- Clean your clothes dryer lint trap between loads. This small action can save you up to $34 a year.
- Microwave small amounts of food instead of using the oven and reduce your cooking energy use by up to 80 percent.
- Cut shower time in half to reduce water heating costs by 33 percent. Showers can account for up to two-thirds of your water heating expenses.
- Wash clothes in cold water and save up to $30 a year on hot water heating when using a gas water heater.
- Use the clothes dryer moisture sensor to turn off the dryer automatically. Running your dryer for an extra 15 minutes per load can cost up to $34 a year. Clean the lint trap between loads, which can provide additional savings.
Plan ahead for these fixes
Use these tips to help your energy savings grow over time:
- Install low-flow showerheads and save up to 16 percent on your water heating costs.
- Replace your dishwasher with a booster heater model so you can lower the temperature setting on your water heater.
- Seal air leaks. Insulate your attic, walls and floors over crawl spaces and accessible basement rim joists. Save up to 10 percent on your energy costs.
- Wrap older water heaters with an insulating jacket to minimize excess heat loss. Leave the air intake vent uncovered when insulating a gas water heater. Save up to 10 percent on water heating costs.
Budget for bigger-ticket upgrades
Save even more money and energy with these upgrades:
- Replace older windows with high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® models to reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15 percent.
- Hire a licensed heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) contractor to check your system for leaks. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve your HVAC system efficiency by 20 percent or more.
- Purchase a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR clothes washer if your machine is more than 10 years old and save up to $74 a year on energy costs.
PLEASE NOTE: Estimated annual savings is based on assuming an electricity rate of $0.19/kilowatt hour (kWh), gas rate of $1.19/therm, and water and sewer rate of $11.92/1,000 gallons.
Get information about solar water heating and rebates
Conserve energy and save money by installing a solar water heating system in your home. Learn about solar water heating and rebates.
Visit Solar Water Heating for Your Home.