Making Ends Meet: Mistakes to avoid to save money on your winter utility bill

We want to help you save money on your electric bill this month as our temperatures dip, triggering frost warnings.

John Funches, manager of JEA’s Conservation and Efficiency Field Services, said two common mistakes can cause your bill to spike while you heat your home.

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First, be careful how quickly you raise your thermostat.

“If you raise your thermostat up more than 2 degrees, you will engage your auxiliary heat, which is heat strips. Heat strips can use three to four times more than your heat pump,” said Funches.

JEA recommends you raise your thermostat one degree at a time to avoid the auxiliary heat clicking on.

Another mistake is leaving the thermostat set at the same temperature all day, especially if you leave home.

“If you’re away, we recommend that you lower your thermostat by 5 degrees to reduce the amount of run time your heat pump will run,” Funches explained.

JEA suggests you set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you leave the house for the day.

Something else to save money, make sure you are changing the air filter in your heating and cooling system regularly throughout the year, so it runs more efficiently.

“If your filter is dirty, you’re blocking your airflow. You’re paying to heat and cool your air,” Funches said. “So, if you’re blocking your airflow, you’re reducing the amount of air going into your home, it takes longer to either heat or cool.”

JEA recommends you have your heating and cooling system serviced every fall and spring. Also, bundling up by adding a blanket to your bed during our cold snaps can help keep you warm without raising the thermostat, saving you some money.

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