Weather plays the biggest role in the amount of energy customers use and how it impacts their power bill. Customers typically see their highest bills after the hottest and coldest months.

As is typical for this time of the year low temperatures in Northwest Florida are dropping into the 30s and even the 20s in some areas, with the average temperature continuing to drop throughout January and February. Now is the time to take steps to help save money on your Gulf Power energy bill and stay warm during the coldest spells.

Check out these 10 cold weather tips from Gulf Power’s energy experts:

  1. Set your thermostat at a constant temperature. Almost half of the energy in your home goes to heating and cooling. In the winter, set it at 68 degrees and leave it. For every degree above 68 that you set your thermostat, you’ll pay 10 percent more in heating costs.
  2. Find and seal leaks so cold air can’t sneak in through doors, walls or a poorly insulated attic. Make sure there are no tiny holes in your ducts that could cause your heater to work harder. Install weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows. Increase attic insulation to save 30 percent on cooling and heating costs.
  3. Reverse the setting on your ceiling fan to push warmer air down to the floor level.
  4. Maintain your heating system so it runs more efficiently. Change or clean your air filter monthly since dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency. Check out available incentives from Gulf Power’s Heating and Cooling page.
  5. Lower your lighting costs by turning off lights that aren’t in use. Use fluorescent lighting or LEDs; they last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and they consume as little as 20 percent of the energy for the same amount of light.
  6. Use an electric blanket or heated mattress cover; these are more economical than heating the entire house. To prevent a fire hazard, avoid using ones that are older than 10 years, and don’t run cords under your mattress.
  7. Use the sun to heat your home by opening draperies and blinds on the sunny side of your house. Close them on the shaded side of your house and at night.
  8. Manage your energy and control your savings through Energy Select, a nationally recognized program that puts the power of savings in your hands. By combining a unique variable price, an online programming and smart thermostat, Energy Select allows customers to take control of saving money and energy. This energy-saving program features a lower energy price 87 percent of the time, the convenience to control your comfort and savings, and FREE installation.
  9. Get a free Energy Checkup, one of the easiest ways you can identify measures to conserve energy. You can access a free online checkup from anywhere at any time on a laptop, tablet or mobile device. The checkup provides a report that’s personalized for you, based on your home’s actual energy use and can be accessed whenever you want to look for ways to save money and energy.
  10. Use portable electric heaters only in small areas. Buy newer models that are thermostatically controlled and carry the UL label.

There are many other things you can do to keep your home more comfortable in the winter. Check out more energy-savings tips here.