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PNS Daily Newscast - January 17, 2018 


As the DOJ tries a rare direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on DACA, a new report says border patrol agents have been vandalizing water left for migrants; also, on today's rundown a labor dispute in Minnesota could affect Super Bowl week; and the Interior decision nears on sage-grouse plans.

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Tips for Saving Money, Environment This Winter

Turning down the thermostat even a degree or two can save South Dakotans money on their energy bills this winter. (midnightcomm/Flickr)
Turning down the thermostat even a degree or two can save South Dakotans money on their energy bills this winter. (midnightcomm/Flickr)
December 22, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – Nobody wants to get a chill when they look at their energy bill this winter. The cold season officially started Thursday, but South Dakotans already are feeling the brisk temperatures.

While it may be too late to do any major overhauls to the home, Ian Andrew, editor of the environmental news outlet Greener Ideal, has a few tips for folks to keep their homes warm and energy costs down, with the added bonus of helping the environment. He says the most useful tip is watching the thermostat. Turning the temperature down even a degree or two can reduce costs greatly.

Andrew also suggests sealing any leaks with weather-stripping or caulking, which are available at home-improvement stores.

"That's something that basically anyone can do themselves, just by feeling where cold air is coming from and sealing it off," he explains. "And by blocking that cold air from getting in and not warming out, your furnace is going to run less and ultimately, you'll use less energy and save some money on those winter heating bills."

Andrew says smart thermostats are the best way to reduce costs and keep warm. He adds that keeping air filters clean and using sunshine to warm the house also take pressure off a household's heating unit. And the less a unit runs, the better off the environment is.

Proper insulation is a friend to those looking to save on energy bills as well. A full remodeling probably is out of the question this time of year, but Andrew says insulating blankets in the attic or basement ceiling and walls can trap more heat in the house. Another trick: wrapping the water heater in insulating blankets.

"That helps keep the heat within the water heater so it doesn't have to run as often, especially if maybe it's in a cold basement, if it's in a room that doesn't get as much heat as the rest of the house, that definitely helps keep the level of heat up in your water heater," he adds.

Andrew says once the cold months have passed, folks can start on the big projects if they want more energy-efficient homes and are willing to make the big investment. One of the best ways is to install underfloor heating. This can help keep entire rooms warm during the winter and is more efficient than ducts near the ceiling because heat travels upward.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - SD