Home Energy Tips for Older Adults

Home Energy Tips for Older Adults

Older adults and their
family caregivers can take the following actions

to stay warm
economically and safely this winter:

Find out about financial energy assistance programs:  Many states, counties and cities provide programs
that assist older adults with winter heating costs.  Your local Area Agency on Aging is a good
source of information about available community programs and eligibility
requirements.  To contact them you can call
the Senior LinkAge Line®: A One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors at


Be aware of help available through utility companies:  Check with your gas, water and electricity suppliers to see
if they offer a monthly budget plan to help spread out those high energy costs
this winter over an entire year.  Often
they maintain special heating assistance funds, as well as “no cut off”
guidelines to avoid termination of service for elderly, disabled and ill
customers who have difficulty paying their bill.  Utility companies also are a great source for
energy conservation information.  

Look for ways to cut down on winter energy use:  Easy steps to take include using storm windows
or inexpensive stretch window film to keep out drafts, using a programmable
thermostat to lower temperature automatically when you are away from home or
asleep, changing furnace filters at least every three months to keep the warm
air flowing, and weather stripping or insulating the attic hatch or door to
prevent warm air from leaking out of the house.  Also, although a log fire in your fireplace is
nice, it does not heat your home because heated air drafts up the chimney.  When not using your fireplace, close the


Ensure your health and safety:  In addition to addressing the need to stay
warm during winter, consider safety as well.  For example, make sure that: smoke and carbon
monoxide detectors are installed and working properly; water pipes are
insulated to avoid freezing and bursting; electrical cords on space heaters are
not damaged and do not pose a tripping hazard; batteries and battery-powered
flashlights are available; and a fire extinguisher is ready to use.


Have a back-up plan:  Before you need
them, consider alternative arrangements should extreme weather conditions
require emergency action.  These might
include: having another place to stay temporarily, asking someone to check on
you daily especially if you live alone, making sure that your medicine and
medical needs are met, and sharing contact information with everyone who would
need it.

Follow these home energy tips to
ensure that you or an older family member will be warm and safe during the cold
winter months.

If you would like more information
about Home
Energy Tips for Older Adults
the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433. 
The Senior LinkAge Line®: A One Stop Shop for Minnesota
Seniors is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area
Agencies on Aging.  Specialists provide one-to-one assistance with helping
older adults age well and live well.  Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance
Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm or chat with a specialist online
during these hours at www.MinnesotaHelp.info®.

“Our Mission is to identify and promote resources which enhance, empower and enrich seniors to be healthy, safe, and engaged citzens”



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