Winter weather has finally arrived in Florida, and although Florida winters are typically mild, residents may see increased utility costs. While it’s easy to blame increased utility costs on your heating and cooling system, there are plenty of other factors behind these rising rates. Luckily, there are plenty of actions you can take to conserve energy this winter.

Seal out drafts

Leaky doors and windows cause your AC system to run longer and more frequently to make up for the moist, humid air entering your home. To seal out drafts, try installing weather stripping around your doors and windows. You can also put draft stoppers or door sweeps on the bottom of your door to seal in more air. 

Water heater temperature

Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotter water has no advantages for cleaning or bathing and increases the risk of scalding. You might also consider wrapping a hot water heater blanket around your water heater so that it can retain more heat and run the heating element less often.

Ceiling fan direction

For a simple way to save money, switch your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise. This draws cool air up and pushes warmed air back down, creating an inexpensive way to stay warmer in winter. Ensure your fan is turned off and flip the switch on the ceiling fan’s motor housing to reverse the direction. 

Thermostat temperature

Turn the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit while you are awake and set it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. The lower the interior temperature of your home, the slower the heat loss. In other words, the lower the temperature of your home, the longer heat will be retained, decreasing the amount of energy required to keep the house cool.  

Air filter

A dirty air filter makes your HVAC system work harder. Be sure to change the air filter every 30 days at minimum.  

Information from Constellation, Air Care, My Florida Home Energy, Department of Energy, Lowes, Second Nature, and CNET.