Take control of your energy costs during cold-weather periods

Published: Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 07:14 PM.

*   Open shades, drapes and blinds during the winter so sunlight can enter the house and help to warm the home naturally. At night, close shades, drapes and blinds to help retain heat.

 *   Operate your ceiling fan on low speed and switch to reverse to push hot air from the ceiling level to the occupied-lower areas of the room. Use fans only when the room is occupied.

*   Use a portable electric heater to heat only a small area. Purchase models that are thermostatically controlled. Keep it at least three feet from items that could catch fire like curtains or furniture. Make sure you have working smoke detectors on every floor and in every sleeping room of your house.

 *    Make sure vents and return-air registers are not blocked by furniture, draperies, doors or other obstacles.

 *   Don’t use your oven to heat your home — it’s very costly and most importantly, it’s very dangerous.

Heating and cooling equipment

*   If your heating system is an older, less-efficient unit, upgrade to a geothermal heating and cooling system — or a high efficiency air-source heat pump. Talk to a Gulf Power representative for a free Energy Checkup: 1-877-655-4001.

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