Keeping Natural Gas Clean And Available

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Thanks to new technology, natural gas is more environmentally friendly and more reliable. That means more Americans can enjoy the warmth of clean natural gas heat without getting chills about pollution.

Natural gas supplies nearly a fourth of all the energy used in the United States and, according to the Department of Energy, that’s expected to rise to 40 percent in the next 20 years.

Here are a few hints from gas providers on keeping your use to comfortable levels:

• Caulk or weatherstrip doors and windows to seal out heat-stealing drafts. Seal switch plates and electrical outlets, too.

• Insulate your attic or roof space. This can cut heating costs by up to 30 percent.

• Wrap insulation around pipes in your basement and crawl space and wrap your hot-water heater with an insulating blanket.

• Keep chairs and beds away from exterior walls.

• Keep your windows clean. Let the sun shine in to warm your home.

• Use ceiling fans. They force warm air down, so you can set your thermostat lower.

• Keep the damper closed when your fireplace is not in use.

• Tape a sheet of aluminum foil (shiny side out) to the wall behind radiators.

• Don’t put anything on top of a radiator. Never block radiators with drapes.

• Turn down the temperature on your hot-water heater to the warm setting (120

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