LCEC continues to offer simple, energy-saving tips that can help keep electric bills down during these unseasonably chilly months in Southwest Florida. It is much easier for customers to lower their electric bill when they understand that there are a multitude of factors that influence energy consumption. Weather, the number of people occupying the home and energy usage habits all affect the bottom line on an electric bill.
LCEC recommends the following energy usage tips to keep bills low when the temperatures dip:
• A programmable thermostat automates the task of regulating the temperature on central heating and cooling systems eliminating the need to remember to manually adjust.
• During winter months, thermostats should be set at 68 degrees or cooler with the fan switch on “auto.” For additional savings, lower the thermostat to 65 degrees when the home is unoccupied or while sleeping. Heating a home costs two to three times more than cooling it. And the cooler the weather, the more the heating system will operate.
• Clean or replace filters on your heating and cooling systems every month. This effort helps the unit run more efficiently.
• Limit the time the pool pump runs in the winter to no more than four hours each 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.
• Be cautious using space heaters. Don’t place them near curtains, furniture, newspapers, combustible materials, or on rugs. Don’t overload circuits. Use portable electric heaters to heat only a small area and buy models that are thermostatically controlled. Don’t use an extension cord to connect a space heater to a plug-in.
• Electric blankets may also be a cost-effective means of staying warm at night. Please use them safely.
• Check the flue of your fireplace is working properly and remains closed when the fireplace is not in use. A closed flue keeps cold air out when the fireplace is not in use.
• Use ceiling fans to distribute heat around large rooms. Reverse the direction of the fan blades from the setting used for summer cooling.
• Don’t use the oven to heat a room.
• Cover bare floors. Carpeting adds to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
• Consider dressing warm in the morning until the sun warms your home naturally.
• Wear layers of clothing rather than one heavy piece. Layers efficiently trap body heat and provide greater comfort. Additionally, the layers can be removed to maintain comfort as the body warms. If you get too hot, remove a layer. If you get cold, put it on again.
• 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.
• If you only follow one energy-saving tip this winter, make it this one: turn down your thermostat when you leave home for more than a few hours.
LCEC offers customers free online and on-site Energy Surveys including year-round energy advice that can help customers lower their bills even more. To receive energy saving tips visit www.lcec.net.
LCEC is proud to celebrate its 12th consecutive year of participation in the Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida’s Festival of Trees. Since the inception of this event in 2006, LCEC has created 12 festive trees including a tree which was adorned with more than 150 hand-painted light bulbs which were carefully crafted by LCEC employees. This year, LCEC’s Public Relations Team created a Don’t be “board” this holiday season tree which includes a myriad of board games, waterproof action camera, kayak, and paddle board in addition to beautiful red and gold ornaments and bling! “LCEC is proud to be amongst other companies who are passionate about the great work that Goodwill does,” LCEC Public Relations Manager Karen Ryan said.
LCEC has been a long-time supporter of Goodwill and their efforts toward helping those with disabilities find and keep meaningful employment. “It is truly an honor to be part of the Festival of Trees every year,” Ryan said. This year’s Festival of Trees runs from November 29 through December 1 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center at 2301 First Street in the River District. Festival admission is $2 for visitors age 12 and up. For more information, visit www.goodwilltrees.com.
The big day is almost here! Thanksgiving will be a day filled with love, laughter, family and feasting! As you prepare for a gobble of a good time, keep the following energy tips in mind:
Don’t overdo your oven:
Cooking multiple things at once and resisting the urge to peek into the oven will keep your oven working only when it needs to. Remember that every time you open your oven, the temperature drops by 25 to 30 degrees in addition to raising the temperature in your kitchen.
Make use of your microwave:
Microwaves use half as much electricity as conventional ovens, and cook items in a shorter time. Consider using your microwave to cook smaller items and leave the big dishes for the oven.
Be burner smart:
Make sure you match up pots and pans to your burners. Using a small pot on a big burner wastes electricity.
Give your fridge and yourself a much needed break:
Your fridge works hard all the time! This Thanksgiving, consider using a cooler rather than opening your fridge over and over to get out cold items like drinks. Also be sure to give hot food time to cool down before storing them. When your guests have all left, load the dishwasher, and kick back and relax. Using your dishwasher saves electricity and water. Be sure to fill it up completely to get the most bang for your buck!
Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at LCEC!
The holiday season is in full swing! With so many things to think about and plan, it can be easy to forget the simple ways to keep your energy costs low. LCEC energy experts remind you to consider the following tips, not just during the holiday season, but year-round to keep your electric bill low while conserving electricity:
• When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Each degree below adds 8 to 12 percent to the cooling costs.
• When heating your home, set the thermostat at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Since heating costs three times more than cooling, consider using a space heater or electric blanket.
• While away from home for more than two hours, set the thermostat at 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temperature at certain times of the day.
• Repair duct leaks using metal foil tape reinforced with mastic adhesive.
• Check the attic for areas where insulation is missing or may have been moved during repairs or cable installation.
• Change or clean filters monthly.
• Do not locate refrigerators/freezers in a garage or other non-air conditioned space.
• Refrigerators should be maintained at 36 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit, while freezers should be maintained from 0 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Test your refrigerator door gasket with a crisp dollar bill. A good gasket will hold the bill in place.
• Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which use 75% less energy, or LED lamps (light emitting diode), which use 85% less energy with a life expectancy of 30,000 to 50,000 hours of run time.
• Turn off fans when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.
• Run pool pumps for a maximum of 8 hours a day in the summer, and 6 hours per day in the winter, unless you are heating the pool.
• Install reflective window tint/film that will reflect 65 percent or better on windows facing east, west or south. LCEC also recommends installing awnings, storm shutters and planting shade trees.
For more energy saving tips, visit lcec.net.
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