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BREATHING EASY THIS WINTER

Simple Steps to an Energy-Efficient, Pollution-Free Home

As cold weather approaches, people around the country are winterizing their homes making them more energy-efficient and saving money on their heating bills. Besides properly insulating your house and weather-stripping drafts around doors and windows, here are a few simple suggestions you and your family can follow to make your home more energy-efficient this winter:

Unfortunately, when a home is winterized, not only is cold air kept outside, but the indoor air, including indoor air pollutants, may be trapped inside. In fact, indoor air pollution can rise to dangerous levels because of the lack of fresh air inside the house. Fuel-burning appliances - including oil and gas furnaces, gas waterheaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, fire places, gas or kerosene space heaters, and wood stoves - that are not adequately vented or maintained may be sources of indoor air pollution, the most dangerous of which is carbon monoxide. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200 people die each year due to the release of carbon monoxide from home heating equipment, and thousands of others become ill or seek medical attention. Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in your home is a matter of taking some simple steps:

Carbon monoxide detectors are widely available in stores and you may want to consider buying one as a backup in addition to taking the safety precautions mentioned above. Remember that a detector does not prevent a carbon monoxide problem - only proper use and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances can assure a safer home.

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Written by: PTA Health and Welfare


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