UGI is reminding residents to take steps to avoid heat stress and to use energy wisely.
UGI offers these simple tips to help keep customers and community members safe and minimize energy usage during a heat wave:
Avoiding Heat Stress:
· Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and other caffeinated-beverages — both alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate. In addition, limit sodas and fruit juices because neither are absorbed easily or quickly due to the amount of sugar they contain.
· Eat frequent, small meals that include whole fruits, vegetables and salads. Fruits and vegetables contain high water content that can help with hydration.
· Learn the symptoms of dehydration: extreme thirst, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, dry/sticky mouth, cool/dry skin, headache and muscle cramps. Remain hydrated and seek medical attention if necessary.
· Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Change clothing if it becomes saturated. Wear a hat and apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to exposed skin while outside.
· Check on the elderly, infants, young children and those with chronic health problems or disabilities. They are more vulnerable to the effects of heat.
· Never leave children or pets in a parked vehicle.
· Stay indoors if possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sun. If you do not have air-conditioning in your home, consider visiting air-conditioned buildings such as libraries, shopping centers or movie theaters.
· Avoid long periods of time in the direct sun. If possible, work or play in the cooler hours of the day.
Using Energy Wisely:
· If you have a programmable thermostat, raise the setting to the highest possible comfortable temperature if you have central air-conditioning. Raise the temperature if you will not be home for an extended period. You can save three-to-five percent on your air conditioning costs for each degree that you raise your thermostat.
· Close doors leading to uncooled parts of your home. If you have central air conditioning, close off vents to unused rooms. Keep air conditioning filters clean.
· Use ceiling and portable fans to circulate air as an alternative to air conditioning. Turn off fans when you leave the room—ceiling fans cool people, not the room.
· Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows. Eliminate air leaks around window air conditioners with foam insulation or weather-stripping.
· Close blinds, shades, and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat and help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
· Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioning to run longer than necessary.
· Vacuum registers regularly to avoid dust buildup. Ensure than furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
· Your microwave is the most efficient means of cooking. Use it for as many cooking tasks as possible. The cooking time will be shorter, and less heat will be generated.
· About 80 percent of homes have a clothes dryer. Use a low heat setting and clean the lint trap after every load to increase efficiency. If possible, hang clothes to dry outside, rather than using a dryer.
Should you have a service-related issue, UGI emergency response is available 24-hours a day, every day. Your safety is always top priority. UGI can be reached at 800-276-2722.
UGI Utilities is a natural gas and electric utility with headquarters in Denver, Pennsylvania. UGI serves more than 730,000 customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland.