Get the most of your heat by being energy efficient

Get the most of your heat by being energy efficient

. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Now that it's finally feeling like winter outside, experts with Santee Cooper want to remind residents that now is the time to make sure homes are ready to withstand the cooler temperatures that will stick around for the next few months.

It all starts at the rectangular box on the wall- the thermostat. Experts at Santee Cooper explain the optimal temperature for wintertime to help home and business owners save the most and stay warm - is 68 degrees.

That's not the only way to make the most of the heat inside homes. Check door and window frames for drafts and cracks that may be letting cold air in. Homeowners don't necessarily have to replace them- using tape from a home improvement store makes it easy and inexpensive to seal those cracks. Hope Depot, for one, sells some for just around $7.

Another way to keep homes warm on cold days is to rotate ceiling fans clockwise, and run them on a low speed. Instead of warm air rising to the ceiling, leaving cool air on the ground, the updraft from the fan running clockwise pushes the warmth back down the walls and to the floor. Most ceiling fans have a control switch that can be flipped to change the direction.

Also, it's crucial to get heat pumps checked at least annually.

"If you only get your heat pumped checked when there's a problem, you'll probably replace it sooner than you have to," explains Susan Mungo with Santee Cooper. "If there are leaks in your duct work, no matter what you turn your thermostat on, hot air is going to be pushing out and you're going to be losing heat that should be staying in that home, keeping you warm."

Mungo recommends home and business owners get their heat pump checked twice a year.

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