Published: Dec 14, 2010 7:55 PM EST
Updated: Dec 13, 2010 7:20 PM EST

NORTH FORT MYERS, FL– While the temperatures are dipping in Southwest Florida, residents are turning on the heat. Here are a few tips from LCEC to help manage electric bills during the cold spell:

  • Set the thermostat at 68 degrees; each degree higher costs about five percent more.
  • Check the accuracy of your thermostat with an accurate thermometer. An improperly calibrated one can cause you to use more electricity without knowing it.
  • Consider dressing warm in the morning until the sun warms your home naturally.
  • Close your blinds once the sun sets to keep its heat inside, then open your blinds in the morning to allow the sunshine to reheat your home.
  • Electric blankets may also be a cost-effective means of staying warm at night. Please use them safely.
  • Take showers during the warmer part of the day.
  • Consider using a space heater for warming just the room that you’re in, instead of turning on central heat for the whole house. If you use a space heater, make sure it has built-in safety features such as a tip-over switch, overheat sensor, low surface temperature and protective screen or grill.
  • Keep return air filters clean.
  • Weather strip or caulk exterior cracks and holes.
  • Check your attic insulation to be sure it is R30. It will prevent heat from escaping your home.

For more information, visit www.lcec.net .