Not a big fan of cold weather? Whether you’re a fan of the cooler temps, or you can’t wait for it to get back into the 80s in Osceola County and throughout Central Florida, there are some very important tips that Kissimmee Utility Authority has shared with the community to keep in mind that involve safety, staying warm, and conserving energy and money…  specifically through Wednesday’s predicted cold weather.

* 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.

* Exercise extreme caution when using space heaters. Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets. Use of extension cords may lead to circuit overload and cause a fire. Don’t place heaters near curtains, furniture, newspapers or other combustible materials, or on rugs. Use portable electric heaters to heat only a small area and buy models that are thermostatically controlled.

* Do not use a stove or oven to heat your home. An open oven door or lit stove burners can be dangerous and ineffective as a heat source.

* Never use charcoal barbecues or propane gas heaters as indoor heating sources. Even though there is no visible flame, charcoal and propane emit deadly carbon monoxide gas and are not suitable for indoor use.

* Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

* Use exhaust fans sparingly in winter. Heat and moisture from bathing and cooking contribute heat to your home.

* Use ceiling fans to distribute heat around the room. Reverse the direction of the fan blades from that used for summer cooling.

* Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to drift up the chimney.

Once again, we thank the Kissimmee Utility Authority for being an advocate for Osceola County! Stay warm and safe everyone!