When temperatures drop, home heating can have the biggest impact on your electric bill. Here are some simple tips that can help you stay warm and save money on your electric bill.
Staying safe and warm indoors
- Lower your thermostat to 68°F or the lowest comfortable setting, and keep the settings constant. With a heat pump, limit the activation of the supplemental heat strip by making minor, periodic adjustments to the thermostat.
- Set your central heating unit fan to “auto.”
- Inspect air filters regularly (replace them monthly).
- Consider installing a smart thermostat that can cut heating costs up to 15 percent. Check out Tampa Electric’s money back rebate on ENERGY STAR certified Smart Thermostats.
- Turn off unnecessary lighting. Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
- Lower the thermostat on your electric water heater between 120°F to 140°F and limit hot water usage.
- Check that your attic access door/panel closes tightly and is insulated when located within conditioned space.
- Switch your ceiling fan’s blade rotation. Hot air rises, so reverse your fan’s blades to a clockwise rotation to help push that warmth right back down to you.
- Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed. Make sure they are properly sealed. Set thermostats at proper temperatures to achieve best energy efficiency.
- Have a fireplace? Be sure to close the dampers when not in use.
- Avoid using your exhaust fans. Your bathroom fans and oven hoods are often-overlooked sources of heat loss. Use your exhaust fans sparingly, and turn them off when not in use.
- Get free heat the natural way! Let the sun heat your home by drawing the curtains of south-facing windows during the day.
Here are some helpful safety tips to keep in mind when using electric blankets and space heaters:
- Snuggle up in an electric blanket. If you already have one, inspect for cracks or breaks in the wiring, plugs or connectors and look for charred spots on both sides of the blanket surfaces. Any of these conditions indicates a potential fire hazard.
- To prevent excessive heat buildup, make sure nothing covers your electric blanket, such as quilts, blankets or pets. Never “tuck in” the sides or ends of your electric blanket. The heating coils may become damaged or bent and may cause a fire.
- Don’t leave your space heater on all night. The fire hazard is too great. Use extra blankets instead.
- If you’re using an extension cord, double check that it’s rated to handle the power your space heater requires. Don’t use light-duty extension cords with your space heater.
- Keep your space heater away from drapes, furniture and other flammable materials.
- Be certain your home wiring is designed to handle your space heater. If you have any doubts, contact a licensed electrician.
- Avoid using your space heater in the bathroom. If you must, keep it as far away as possible from the shower, tub and sink. And never touch the heater when you’re wet!
- Check that your space heater has an automatic switch that turns off the electric current if the unit is tipped over.