National Weather Service predicts colder than normal winter in Kentucky
Bundle up, Kentucky. Forecasters are predicting a colder than normal winter for much of the state after a colder than normal November.
We are encouraging our members to be aware of their energy use and take steps to help manage electric bills, which may also be higher than normal as a result of increased usage.
In the National Weather Service’s official Three-Month Outlook released last Thursday, Kentucky and several surrounding states are shown to have a higher likelihood of below normal temperatures. The temperature probability is a forecast for January, February and March.
According to Sean Poulos, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Paducah, the chances of a colder than normal winter increases from west to east across Kentucky.
This comes after a November cold snap in Kentucky, including ten November days with temperatures at least ten degrees below normal. National Weather Service records also show that the Kentucky cold snap extended into the first ten days of December.
As members heated their homes and spent more time indoors over the cold Thanksgiving holiday, energy usage increased resulting in higher than typical bills.
Weather, especially cold weather, affects residential energy bills more than any other factor. Heating claims about a 42 percent share of overall energy use in U.S. homes.
The temperature difference between the inside of your home and the air temperature outside is greater during the winter than in the summer.
Put simply, the greater the temperature difference, the harder your heating system has to work to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
For example, if you want your house to be 70 degrees inside and it’s 20 degrees outside, your HVAC system has to make up 50 degrees difference in temperature. Even on a 100-degree summer day, the HVAC system only has to make up about 30 degrees difference versus that 50-degree variance in winter.
8 Quick Tips to Avoid High Winter Bills
Winter heating bills impact wallets across the state. Here are some suggested ways to cut back on energy usage and keep your bills as low as possible:
1. Find and seal all air leaks. Check for cracks near doors and windows, gaps around pipes and chimneys, and any unfinished areas. Plug leaks with weather-stripping, caulk, or expandable foam.
2. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees.
3. Close blinds and curtains at night; if sunny, open them during the day.
4. Cover drafty windows yourself with easy, effective, and inexpensive shrink-to-fit plastic.
5. Turn off lights when not in use. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, which use at least 75 percent less energy.
6. Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Wash clothes in cold water, and use cold-water detergent whenever possible.
8. Keep your garage door closed for a warmer garage in winter, and cooler garage in summer.
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