JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Mild Florida winters normally bring an opportunity to don a favorite sweater or open windows to enjoy the crisp air. When a cold snap hits, what comes as a surprise to many is that heating your home costs more than cooling it.
With cooler weather expected to enter our state, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) encourages customers to take control of their energy usage this winter and save money with these helpful tips.
"Because extreme cold weather is so rare in Florida, many heating systems aren't built to work efficiently – they require more energy to operate, which translates to higher costs," said FPL Energy Expert Tiffany Spence. "We know that every dollar customers can save helps. By taking small steps to use energy wisely this winter, they can make their bills even lower."
Small steps for big savings
Here are simple tips customers can use to save energy and money this winter:
- Start at 68 – If you need to heat your home, set your thermostat to 68 degrees with the fan set to "auto" and be sure to turn off your heat when you leave. Every degree below 68 saves you five percent on heating costs.
- Check your filters – Clean or replace your air conditioner filter regularly (approximately each month) to help your unit operate more efficiently.
- Keep warm air in – Seal doors and windows with weatherstripping or caulk, which helps prevent warm air from leaking out.
- Harness the sun – Make sure your south-facing windows are clean and open those curtains during the day to heat your home with the sun.
- Lower your water heater temperature – Set your water heater temperature at 115 to 120 degrees to conserve energy. Shortening your showers helps, too!
- Give your pool pump a break – Reduce the time you run your pool pump by two hours a day to save up to $8.21 per month.
Be safe when using space heaters
Remember these tips to stay safe while keeping warm:
- Limit their use – Only use space heaters for limited amounts of time and not as a primary heat source. Direct space heaters to warm people, not rooms.
- Watch out for flammables – Keep flammable materials and furniture at least three feet away from the heater.
- Keep a safe distance – Space heaters should always be kept away from children, pets and water to avoid electric shock.
- Use under supervision – Turn off and unplug the space heater when leaving the room for an extended period of time. Avoid using extension cords.