(WAFB) - The cold weather of course means many people are probably using a lot more energy than you would during a typical January.
Energy companies say there are ways to help keep utility bills down. They recommend keeping the thermostat set low, around 68 degrees. They also recommend wearing extra layers and bundling up. Closing curtains and blinds at night also helps to keep heat in, and opening them during the day to lets in sunlight and warmth. Some companies like Demco also offer what's called "levelized" billing, which takes the average of your bills for the past year and spreads the costs out evenly.
"It's the last 12 months, so it has a good representation of the warm months and the cooler months, so it's a good average and it keeps the bill from fluctuating each month," said David Latona with Demco.
Entergy also offers a level billing program.
More money-saving tips include:
- Set the thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter months. Every degree higher can add 3 percent to your bill.
- Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees if away from home for several days
- Make sure you replace your air filters regularly and get your heating unit checked
- Don’t block heat registers for cold air returns with curtains or furniture
- Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium
- When you change your light bulbs, replace them with newer, energy-efficient models that use less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs
- Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic in and out will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the temperature you set.
- Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around your doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home.
- Let the sun shine through. If you have drapes or blinds, open them. The sun is a natural heater that can keep you comfortable on cold winter days. Keep in the heat at night by closing them after the sun has set.