The Tampa area rarely gets downright cold in the wintertime, but it can and does happen from time to time. Of course, most people have a heating unit of some sort installed in their homes, whether it is a gas or electric furnace or even a heat pump. The following tips will help you run these appliances less often when it’s cold outside and help you save money.
Let the Sunlight In
Even when it’s cold outside, there’s one thing that all Floridians know: the sun still shines brightly. It is the Sunshine State, after all, so you should take advantage of this. When you open up the drapes, the sunlight is let in and is actually magnified by your windows. This creates heat naturally and may warm your home enough so that the use of your heating system isn’t necessary at all.
Insulate Your Home
This is probably the best thing you can do to reduce not only energy consumption during the winter months, but also in the summer when the time comes to cool your home. Insulation essentially keeps the weather outside where it belongs and allows your heated and cooled air to remain inside your home. This way, if it is 70 degrees one day and 40 the next, your home will cool more slowly and decrease the need to run your heating system.
Set the Dial at 68
Floridians are definitely used to warm temperatures so it comes as no real surprise that when the temperature outside drops, many people turn the thermostat dial up to a balmy 72 degrees or higher. While this will certainly keep everyone inside your home comfortable, it also increases the amount of energy that is consumed and makes for a higher utility bill. Set the thermostat at 68 instead and add a few layers of clothes, some slippers and a cup of coffee or hot tea. You’ll stay warm and save money at the same time.
Make Use of Fireplaces and Space Heat in Important Rooms
If you have a fireplace, you may actually be surprised by the amount of heat it can generate in your home. In fact, you can even use fans strategically to circulate the air heated by your fireplace throughout your home, too. When the temperature drops, you can also try heating only those rooms that get the most use with space heaters. The radiator-type heaters are the safest though they are slow to warm while quartz forced-air heaters warm things up significantly but pose a bit of a fire hazard if not used with extreme caution. Never use a kerosene heater in an unventilated room as this can be toxic.
Everyone wants to save money on their utility bills and these tips will certainly help you do just that. At the same time, you will be leaving less of a carbon footprint and helping the environment. Florida is certainly a beautiful place to live, so make the most of the cold days with the sunshine that is always abundant.