JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The next time you get your electricity bill, don’t be surprised if it’s a little higher.
JEA spokesperson Simone Garvey-Ewan says paying more to use electricity is expected during the time of year when temperatures drop.
“When we experience extreme cold temperatures, a lot of customers can see spikes in their bills at the end of the billing cycle because heating accounts for 50% of your energy consumption,” Garvey-Ewan said.
But there are ways to prevent the bill from getting sky-high.
First, instead of just cranking up the heat, simply turn up the thermostat by a degree. Then over time, slowly turn up the thermostat another degree or two, but never beyond two degrees all at once.
“When you adjust it by more than two degrees, your HVAC system works a lot harder and that caused more energy use and that causes a higher bill,” Garvey-Ewan said.
Garvey-Ewan said the heat pump in your heating system is what heats up your home. But she said there are also heat strips inside the heating system, which are like coils on an electric stove. The strips kick in when temperatures are extremely cold.
The JEA spokesperson says when the thermostat is adjusted too far too fast, the strips work overtime along with the heat pump.
Garvey-Ewan said that in some cases, the heat strip can sometimes get caught in the “on” mode and not turn off. So as long as they run, your electricity bill continues to rise.
JEA suggests using a space heater but says this should only be used to heat up a small area of your home and not the entire house. When it’s not in use, unplug it.
If you have a draft coming into your home from a window or door, it’s okay to use something as simple as a towel to block the draft to keep your heater from working hard.