With this cold front headed our way, many of you will be cranking up the heat in your homes. Here's some tips you and your family can use to get through the frigid temperatures in the next few days.
Colder weather can have a direct affect on your energy consumption and in turn, you may see a higher electricity bill in the winter.
Save on electricity bills by setting thermostat to 68 degrees
There are a lot of little things out there you can do to keep your energy bill down, but when it gets really cold outside, a lot of it has to do with your thermostat and the Jacksonville Electric Authority said you'll save energy by setting it at 68 degrees.
• You’ll save up to 22% on your heating costs compared to a setting of 72 degrees.
• Every degree above 68 will add 5% to the heating portion of your electric bill.
• Make sure you set your thermostat 3 to 5 degrees cooler when you’re not at home.
• Heat pumps have Emergency and/or Auxiliary settings. When your thermostat indicates your heat pump is using Emergency or Auxiliary power, it has turned on electric heat strips within the unit. These strips warm the air inside your home when the heat pump alone can’t and are three times more expensive to operate.
• If you feel a chill, dress in layers
"We want you only to change your thermostat one or two degrees at a time, so you avoid the use of your auxiliary or emergency power that is three time more expensive because those heat strips have to work really, really hard to heat that quickly," said Gerri Boyce, spokesperson for JEA.
JEA also recommends checking your windows and doors to see if they're airtight. You can use rolled towels or blankets to block gaps under doors or leaks in windows.
Space heaters use less electricity than your heat pump, but it will only save you money if you turn the thermostat down and only have it on when you're in the room.
Insulate against heat loss
Insulate and weather-strip your home to prevent heat loss and keep cold air out.
• Weather-strip around doors and windows
• Seal cracks or crevices where two different building materials meet
• It's also a good idea to weather-strip between heated and unheated areas such as garages, basements and attic openings
Space heater safety
Space heaters use less electricity than your heat pump, however, only if you turn down the thermostat and only have the space heater on when you are in the room. Note: Space heaters can greatly reduce your heating bill but are dangerous if you do not properly operate and maintain them according to the manufacturer’s instructions, so please use due care.