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JEA Offers Tips to Keep Energy Costs Steady in Cold Weather
Jacksonville, FL - The first cold snap of winter has residents reaching for their thermostats. JEA offers these tips to help keep utility costs from rising, while the temperatures plummet.
Set your thermostat at 68 degrees
Set it even lower at night or when you’re not at home. Heating accounts for up to 50% of energy consumption for the typical home.
- Make sure you set your thermostat 3 to 5 degrees cooler when you’re not at home.
- When you raise your thermostat; ONLY raise it one or two degrees at a time so that the heat strips don’t come on.
- Heat pumps have Emergency and/or Auxiliary settings. When your thermostat indicates your heat pump is using Emergency or Auxiliary power, it has turned on electric heat strips within the unit. These strips warm the air inside your home when the heat pump alone can’t and are three times more expensive to operate.
Insulate against heat loss
- Avoid drafts. Check your windows and doors to see if they’re airtight. Use rolled towels or blankets to block gaps under doors or leaks in windows.
- Insulate and weather-strip your home to prevent heat loss and keep cold air out.
- Weather-strip around doors and windows.
- Seal cracks or crevices where two different building materials meet.
Space heater safety
Space heaters can reduce your heating bill when you keep your thermostat to your HVAC on a low setting. It is important that you properly operate and maintain them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never leave a space heater unattended, on while sleeping or place a space heater close to flammable items.
- Make sure the space heater has “tip over protection”
Remember to protect your pipes
Before cold weather:
- Detach all those water hoses from the house and drain them before storing for the winter.
- Cover all pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic with some type of insulation. You can find pipe wrapping materials at any hardware or building supply store. Consider covering your outdoor faucets, as well.
- Know exactly where that master water shut off valve is for your house way before you actually need to use it. It is usually located where the water line enters your house (or near the water heater or washing machine). Paint it a bright color, keep it accessible, and make sure everyone in the household knows where it is.
If your pipes freeze
- If you turn on the faucets and no water comes out, leave the faucets on and call a plumber. If you can determine that a burst has occurred, leave the faucet on and turn the water off at the master shut-off valve.
- Never try to unfreeze a pipe using an open flame due to the potential of fire.
- And, again, know where that master water shut-off valve is so you can stop the water quickly if needed.
JEA is the largest not-for-profit, community-owned electric utility in Florida and the eighth largest in the United States, providing electric, water and sewer service to accounts in northeast Florida.