MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - We're preparing for a frigid weekend and it is time for homeowners to get ready. For the first time in months, heat pumps are about to work overdrive. However, Santee Cooper Electric is trying help customers offset high winter electric bills, with ways to make their homes more energy efficient.
Santee Cooper says it will offer an free energy audit, where an energy advisor will visit your home to help customers identify problems, and solutions that will help with rising electric bills this winter, or even in the summer.
Mollie Gore, Spokesperson for Santee Cooper says the audits can turn up areas where homeowners can make small changes and save money.
"If somebody is worried about how much energy they are using, or they don't understand they think they are being efficient, we can send somebody in, and we can check the HVAC equipment to make sure it's working properly," explained Gore.
Santee Cooper Energy Advisor, Issac Chestnut, said during the check-up they look at the HVAC/heat pump, water heater, thermostat, windows and other areas, to find ways to save energy.
Gore says when temperatures are below freezing, the home's heat pump will be working hard to keep the home warm no matter what the thermostat is set to, she says the HVAC unit will have the biggest impact on a customer's electric bill, so it is important to make sure the unit is functioning properly.
"When your heat pump runs more your electric bill is going to be higher," Gore added. "We do a couple of things to help customers try to offset that increased heat pump use by making some energy efficiency improvements or just being more efficient with energy around the house. "
Customers can check their windows to make sure they are sealed properly, check for leaks, and cracks that could allow heat to escape. Chestnut says since Hurricane Matthew, winds and rain may have affected doors and windows.
For more energy saving tips or to set up audit visit Santee Cooper's website.