GRU: Tips to lower bills as cold weekend looms

Hand Turning A Home Thermostat Knob To Set Temperature On 68
Adjusting your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter can help save on your energy bills, according to GRU. (Shutterstock).

You may dream of a white Christmas, but snow and cold weather means higher energy bills.  

According to Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), heating in the winter can require more energy than cooling homes in the summer.  

And customers may want to keep that information in mind heading into Christmas weekend. The Jacksonville National Weather Service predicts a high of 43 degrees on Saturday and 45 degrees on Christmas. Both days will have low temperatures in the mid-20s.  

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In a press release, GRU presented the following tips to save energy:  

First, increase efficiency by heating slowly. GRU advises increasing the temperature by one or two degrees at a time. 

Thermostats with an “emergency heat” setting mean that you have a heat pump. If you jump the temperature, heat strips in the heat pump may start working. These strips heat quickly but use 5% more energy, according to GRU.  

Second, set the temperature to 68 degrees or lower. When at home, you can wear more layers and blankets to offset the lower setting. Keeping your thermostat a few degrees lower can save up to 10% a year on your bill, according to GRU.  

Third, complete small home improvements. These improvements can range from ensuring your fire damper is closed to changing your air filter as needed and weatherstripping doors and caulking windows.  

For more tips on energy saving, visit GRU’s website

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