KISSIMMEE, Fla., January 5, 9:30 a.m. – Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) is preparing for an approaching cold front that is expected to bring near-freezing temperatures to Osceola County, beginning Saturday morning.
Heating a home can cost two-to-three times more than cooling it, so KUA offers these tips for warmth, safety and energy conservation:
* Keep the thermostat on your heating system at the lowest comfortable setting. KUA recommends setting the temperature at 68 degrees during the day. Each degree you raise your thermostat will cost you approximately eight percent more.
* For heat pump users, set the thermostat to a constant setting and leave it there, and make sure drapes and furniture are not blocking air registers or returns.
* Make sure any indoor heaters, like wood stoves or kerosene heaters, have adequate ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, make sure the flue of your fireplace is working properly. Never use outdoor grills in the house.
* Make sure you have adequate fuel on hand for supplementary heating sources, such as a fireplace, wood-burning stove or kerosene heater.
* Use ceiling fans in winter to distribute heat around the room. Reverse the direction of the fan blades from that used for summer cooling.
* Check filters at least monthly and clean or change them as needed. Dirty filters can increase operating costs by 20 percent and can damage equipment.
* Caulk any space around windows and other places where air leaks to prevent cold drafts and heat escape.
* Use exhaust fans sparingly in winter. Heat and moisture from bathing and cooking contribute heat to your home. Don’t, however, use the oven to heat a room.
* If your home has a fireplace, be sure the damper fits tightly, and close it when the fireplace is not in use. Add a glass fireplace screen.
* Cover bare floors. Carpeting adds to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
* If possible, remove window air conditioning units in winter. Otherwise, install an inexpensive air conditioner cover to stop drafts coming through the vents.
* Use insulated or heavy curtains on windows facing the north side of the house. Keep curtains and shades closed at night and on cloudy days.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116