Many people in Central Florida are kicking on their home heating systems for the first time in a while during the coldest stretch of weather in nearly a decade.
In general, it’s more expensive to heat a home than it is to cool it. Reporter Gene Wexler spoke with Tim Trudell from the Orlando Utilities Commission and Tyler Mauldin from Florida Power and Light for the best advice on saving money when it’s cold.
1. Do not set the thermostat above 68.
Each degree below 68 degrees saves you 5 percent on heating costs. 65 or 66 degrees is the “optimal” range, though you may need some extra blankets to help you through the night.
2. Check your system before using it
“We don’t have the most sophisticated heating systems here in Central Florida because we don’t use them very often,” says Trudell with OUC.
Make sure the system is in good shape. Check that the filter isn’t clogged up so things run more efficiently.
3. Rig your home
Mauldin with FPL recommends sealing your doors and windows with weather stripping or caulk to keep warm air from escaping. Go around your house and check for cold air coming in from possible cracks. Trudell suggests opening your windows and drapes during the day when the sun is out to heat your home naturally. At night, close them back up to act as a buffer keeping the warm air inside and the cold air outside.
4. Set your water heater temperature to around 115 to 120 degrees.
5. Only use space heaters for limited amounts of time and not as a primary heat source.
Gene Wexler explains why it generally costs more to heat a home than cool it: