South Mississippians can expect an uninvited guest at their New Year’s Eve parties – freezing temperatures.
An arctic air mass is forecast to move into the region over the New Year’s holiday weekend and remain through early next week.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans reported Friday morning, “Daytime high temperatures will be roughly 20 degrees below normal, and have trouble getting past 40 degrees New Year’s Day and Tuesday. Highs will only be slightly warmer Wednesday and Thursday. Wind chill values in the teens are likely New Year’s Day morning, and in the teens and 20s for much of the week.”
Conditions in the Pine Belt and Meridian areas are also expected to be bitterly cold during the first week of 2018. The National Weather Service in Jackson is reporting a chance for light or freezing rain in Meridian on Saturday and Sunday.
Mississippi Power customers can follow these cold weather energy efficiency tips over the New Year’s weekend and beyond:
Adjust the temperature
When you are home and awake, set your thermostat to the lowest possible comfortable setting – we recommend 68 degrees in the winter. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back for eight hours and save around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
Take advantage of heat from the sun
Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Find and seal leaks
Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
Maintain your heating systems
Schedule service for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently. Replace your heating system’s filter once a month or as needed.
Reduce heat loss from the fireplace
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly — approximately 1 inch — and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting.
If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.
Lower your water heating costs
Water heating can account for 14 to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.