Nothing is more of a buzzkill to your holiday festivities than a costly energy bill. Luckily, we don’t have to perform a total shutdown of our houses like our friends who live up north do. We don’t have to worry about radiators or snow on the roof, but we can all agree that Florida winters shouldn’t be overlooked. We have our own frigid cold fronts and when they hit, you might not have enough time to react. Before you know it, you’ll have a hefty energy bill waiting for you in the mailbox. The unpredictability of Florida winters is what can make it particularly difficult to prepare for the harsh change in weather. Luckily, we’ve got a very handy checklist to make sure you’re capitalizing on as much free heat as possible while keeping your bill lean.




The first things to look at on the checklist are your windows since they’re the most important tool for capturing heat. During the day, you‘re going to want to keep your windows uncovered for as long as possible. This will allow the toasty Florida sun to heat up the interior of your house while you’re not home. In the evening, close your blinds or curtains to trap in the light and warmth. In terms of window treatments, curtains work best when it comes to keeping in the heat. Curtains are super heavy which makes them perfect for insulating; however, trapping heat goes way beyond simple window treatments. If you have an older home in Jacksonville, your windows might have problems that require your heater have to work a little harder. Rotting wood and cracks on the interior and exterior of your windows can cause drafts, so inspect your windows carefully. If you feel pockets of cold air around the inside of your window, you should take action. If you don’t feel cold air but are still suspicious, it’s a good idea to get your windows checked anyway. A simple caulking of the outside and insulation of the inside will put your mind at ease. There are plenty of products, such as tints, weatherstrips and more on the market that can protect your windows from harsh winter conditions.


Keeping Your Rooms Toasty


Most likely, you’ll spend more time than usual in your living room during the winter months. Curling up on your couch to sip on hot cocoa and watch classic Christmas movies is almost an obligation around the holidays. Naturally, this means you’ll spend a lot of money and energy trying to keep this room at toasty temperatures. We’ve all been guilty of automatically running to the thermostat to crank up the heat any time we feel a little chill. Before you resort to cranking up the heat, it might be beneficial to practice a few tricks to get the natural heat flowing. First off, if you have a fireplace, lucky you! Do not let it go to waste. Fireplaces in Florida are seldom used until the winter months, and oftentimes that means fireplace maintenance falls by the wayside. Before you use your fireplace, it’s crucial that you make sure it’s in good condition, or else you might run into some serious problems. Always get your fireplace inspected at least once a year. A good time to get it inspected is mid-fall, right before you start using it. Not only does using a fireplace save you money, but it creates a cozy, warm ambiance that’s nearly impossible to imitate without one.


An often overlooked but important adjustment to make for the winter season has to do with the layout of your rooms. Take note of where the vents are in your rooms. If a vent is located on a wall right behind a couch, for example, a majority of the hot air is going to be trapped in the couch. Configure your setup so that the air is able to circulate. When air is able to circulate freely, your heater doesn’t have to work as hard to keep it warm, which means you won’t have to spend as much money cranking up the thermostat. This is a common practice up north, where many houses have radiators, but it is just as effective down south when it comes to keeping warm and saving money.


Last, let’s talk about water. Who enjoys a nice cold shower in the peak of winter? We certainly don’t. Imagine enjoying a warm, peaceful shower only to be shocked by a surge of what feels like arctic glacier water. If you want your hot water to last, you’ll want to add some insulation to your water heater. Many water heaters in Florida are not insulated. Luckily, you can go to your local home improvement store and get an easy-to-install water tank heater for cheap.


Keeping your house warm does not have to drain your pockets. Prepare accordingly with our tips, and you’re guaranteed to save a pretty penny or two. If you follow these tips, you won’t have to worry about how much that bill is going to be this winter. You’ll be able to focus on what really matters: enjoying your holiday season with friends and family!