September 23, 2023

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) – With much colder weather and the holidays coming up, you don’t want your energy bill to go up too.

Mississippi Power shared some tips for keeping your home warm but your bill manageable as the seasons change.

“As far as the thermostat that magic number for the winter months, it’s going to be 68 degrees,” says Mississippi Power spokesperson Kaila Moran Griffith.

Griffith says the thermostat controls your house temperature and your bills. That’s why it’s important to figure out how close to 68 you can keep your house without majorly sacrificing comfort.

Griffith also reminds people you can always put on a sweatshirt or add another blanket to your bed in the winter months.

“Especially if you’re not in the home, so if kids are in school, if you’re at work, keeping it at 68 or as close to 68 as possible while still being comfortable that’s going to really help you maximize the savings on your bill,” she explains.

According to Mississippi Power, if you change your thermostat back in temperature for 8 hours, for example, while you are asleep or out of the house, you can save around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills.

Griffith adds it’s also a good idea to have a licensed professional look at you’re A/C and heat systems once a year to make sure they’re in top shape. You should change the heating system’s filter once a month or as needed.

“Another great thing to do this time of year is to do kind of inspection of your home to make sure that there’s no creases gaps, especially around windows or doors. That’s going to let that cold air seep in. So if you do find those go ahead and caulk those or seal them shut to that hot air in your house can’t escape,” she says.

A local home improvement store should be able to offer window and door frame seals like caulk, silicone spray, and draft stoppers.

You can also take advantage of the sun’s heat. Opening curtains and blinds on your south-facing windows during the day will let sunlight naturally heat your home. Then close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

As for holiday decorating, Griffith suggests LED lights.

“They look just as great outside on your home or on your Christmas tree as standard bulbs but they are going to be more energy-efficient. They’re going to be safer for your household and they’re going to last you a lot longer,” she says.

Air can also escape through those cozy fireplaces.

When you use the fireplace, you can reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox, if provided, or by opening the nearest window slightly and closing doors leading into the room. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.

If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.

“If you’re hosting holiday parties, if you’re using your fireplace this winter season, that’s great, but when you’re not having a fire lit make sure that you go ahead and close that because having your chute open for your fireplace is like having an open window,” Griffith explains.

According to Mississippi Power, water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home. In the winter, you can turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting, which is about 120 degrees.

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