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Winter Weather Related Information
01/07/10 - 04:40 PM
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Shelter in Walton County

The City of DeFuniak Springs would like to inform Residents that Red Cross will open the DeFuniak Springs Community Center as a shelter from freezing weather beginning 5:00 p.m. today, January 7, 2010 through January 11, 2010. 

The shelter will be available from 5:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. each day.  An evening meal will be served as well as a continental breakfast.

Should you have any questions, please contact Ed Joyner at .

Holmes County Schools Delay Start

Holmes County Schools will be open Friday, January 8, 2010.  However, as a safety precaution, buses will run one and one half hours late. 

School will take in at approximately 9:30 a.m.  Breakfast will be served to students between 9:00 and 9:30. 

If parents would like to drop their children off at their normal time, personnel will be available for supervision.  At this time, all schools have heat. 

Please exhibit precautions when driving on the roads.

Gulf Power Cold Weather Energy Tips

This week, Northwest Florida will be experiencing very cold temperatures. Gulf Power wants to make sure you stay warm, safe and conserve energy.

Things you can do right now to save money and energy

·  Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower to conserve energy.
·  Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans so they rotate clockwise as you look up at them. This will force warm air down from the ceiling.
·  During the middle of the day, open blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the house. Also, where possible, reduce the traffic in and out of the house.
·  Don’t use your oven to heat your home — it’s not efficient and most important, it’s not safe.
·  A fireplace is not always an efficient heat source. If not used properly it can actually make the rest of the house cooler because airflow up the chimney
    removes the heated air. When using the fireplace, close all doors and warm air ducts to the room where the fireplace is located. Glass doors on a fireplace
    will reduce the outflow of warm air. And a fireplace with a blower system is ever better because it actually blows the warm air around the firebox back into
    the room. 
·  An electric blanket is more economical than heating the entire house all night long.
·  Use a portable electric heater to heat only a small area. Buy models that are thermostatically controlled. Keep it at least three feet from items that could
    catch fire like curtains or furniture. Make sure you have working smoke detectors on every floor and in every sleeping room of your house.
·  Make sure vents and return air registers are not blocked by furniture, draperies, doors or other obstacles.
·  Use “draft stoppers” or towels/blankets to block drafts at foot of door.
·  If you should lose power, go to your thermostat and turn off your heating system. Please wait 10 to 15 minutes after power has been restored before turning
    it back on. This prevents a power surge from shutting down electricity again.
·  If you should lose power, please do not connect portable generators to your household electrical wiring. This can cause serious injury to you and to Gulf
    Power employees who are restoring electricity. Instead, plug appliances into the generator. Never use a generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces
    because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Things you can do to prepare your home for the whole winter season.

Temperature settings

Heating a house makes up about half of your electricity bill so set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower in the winter. Did you know that you can decrease the amount of energy you buy for heating by three percent or more for every degree below 68 degrees you set your thermostat?

Programmable thermostats are a good investment, or you can take advantage of Gulf Power’s Energy Select. Energy Select is Gulf Power’s advanced energy management program that offers a lower price for electricity 87 percent of the time. Energy Select features a programmable thermostat and a special rate of four price periods based upon time of day, day of week and season. Installation and meter-based surge protection are both free with Energy Select. Only $4.95 per month.

Heating and cooling equipment

The system heating the home is extremely important. If it’s an older, less efficient unit, upgrading to a geothermal heating and cooling system — or a high efficiency air-source heat pump may be a wise choice. Contact Gulf Power at 1- for a free Energy Check-Up.

Routine maintenance

A well-maintained heating system runs more efficiently. A complete tune-up of the home heating system can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 and more, but this is a very worthwhile investment and can reduce your heating bill from 3 to 10 percent. Some companies offer regular service contracts, which are a convenience if you tend to forget system maintenance. Remember to replace the filter every month.   


Duct leakage can account for 20 percent of the heating and cooling cost. Getting ducts sealed up should be at the top of the list for making your home energy efficient.


Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost-effective energy saving measures. Different types of insulation material have different R-values. The recommended level is R-38 in the attic.

Weather-stripping and caulking

Weather-strip door jambs and caulk any cracks around windows to prevent cool air from entering your home.

Window units

If you have a window air conditioning unit, remove it for the winter months to prevent heat from escaping through and around the unit. If it can’t be moved, put a cover over it to prevent drafts.


Use a humidifier to keep your home more comfortable. Adding moisture allows you to reduce the thermostat setting without feeling colder.

Other tips are available on the Energy Tips section at www.gulfpower.com, along with an extensive set of Frequently Asked Questions on energy use in the home.

Customers can get a free Energy Check-Up online or at your home with an appointment. Gulf Power energy experts will analyze your house and electricity use, and look for ways to make the house more energy efficient. Just go to www.gulfpower.com or call 1-.

Gulf Power Company is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 400,000 customers in 10 counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely deliver affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible energy to very satisfied customers in strong communities.


User Comments

How To Reduce Your Energy Bills / Energy Conservation Begins at Home
Imagine leaving a window open all winter long—the heat loss, cold drafts and wasted energy! If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan or AC Return, a fireplace or a clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home every day.

These often overlooked sources of energy loss and air leakage can cause heat and AC to pour out and the outside air to rush in—costing you higher energy bills.

But what can you do about the four largest “holes” in your home—the folding attic stair, the whole house fan or AC return, the fireplace, and the clothes dryer?

To learn more visit http://www.batticdoor.com

Mark D. Tyrol is a Professional Engineer specializing in cause and origin of construction defects. He developed several residential energy conservation products including an attic stair cover and an attic access door. Battic Door is the US distributor of the fireplace plug.

Posted by batticdoor  on  01/08  at  06:45 AM
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