Published: Jan 05, 2012 5:43 AM EST
Updated: Jan 05, 2012 3:42 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- People all over southwest Florida are flipping on their heat before they head to bed but not everyone has that luxury.  For some, the cost of heating their home is something they can't afford so they're only using their heat when they have to.

"When I open those up it kind of keeps the warmth in there.  You can't feel the draft all through there," said Linda Rosino, who only uses her heat at night when she's sleeping.

Rosino does everything she can to warm her house without having to turn on the heat.

"Just went back to work, money is tight.  I put the oven on and open that up a little bit.  I have heavy drapes just to close the windows all down so there is no breeze," said Rosino.

Inside her Suncoast Estates home, her heat stays on when her family of four goes to bed and it's off by morning.

"The less I have to run it the better off.  I've got to keep the electric bill down and keep the money in the pockets," said Rosino.

Cliff Smith, United Way president, said there were more than 200 calls to their 211 help line on Wednesday.  A handful of them were from people needing assistance because of the colder weather.

"When you get a cold spell like this, this jacks your utility bills up and even though it isn't time to pay them yet, people do start worrying about that," said Smith.

The United Way 211 offers assistance through referrals and work with other local agencies to help those who might need it.

"All of them have eligibility criteria but there are programs that are available in our community," said Smith.

For Rosino, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, she kicks up the heat inside.

"It is chilly.  We double up on blankets, heavy clothes just going to bed.  Sweatpants, sweatshirt, whatever it takes just to stay warm," said Rosino.

Keeping her family warm and saving money is what matters the most this time of year.

"Do what you've got to do.  As long as the kids are warm, that is my main thing," said Rosino.

If you're needing heating assistance or know someone who does, the 211 United Way help line has someone standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.