Easy, Energy-Saving Tips Help You Keep Warm In, Winter Out

Manage heating costs and stay cozy when it’s cold outside

A chill in the air means it’s time once again to prepare homes for winter weather. As temperatures continue dropping across the state, Starkville Utilities wants to help customers stay comfortable and manage heating costs with its Warm In, Winter Out initiative.

“It’s normal for heating bills to rise during cold months. That’s why we’re reminding customers about strategies they can use to control heating expenses while staying comfortable,” said Terry Kemp, Starkville Utilities general manager. “Our Warm In, Winter Out initiative provides energy-saving tips that can add up to significant savings over the course of the winter season.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, customers can save up to 10% a year on energy bills by following recommended thermostat settings. For winter months, that means setting thermostats at 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while asleep or away from home.

Heating costs typically make up more than 40% of a utility bill, so it also pays to add caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks around windows and doors to keep heated air inside.

Customers who use space heaters should remember these units heat more effectively in smaller, enclosed rooms where people spend most of their time. Space heaters also cause the majority of fatal house fires, so safety instructions should be followed to prevent fire hazards.

Here are more tips from Starkville Utilities to improve energy efficiency and lower heating bills this winter:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to reduce waste heat.
  • Keep vents open and uncluttered to maximize airflow efficiency.
  • Replace furnace or heat pump filters once a month or as needed.
  • Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use.
  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs that use less power and last longer.
  • Turn down water heater temperature to the warm setting (120°F).
  • Unplug electronics when away from home. Some appliances and devices use energy even when turned off.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if unsure about how to perform this task, contact a professional.
  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and radiators.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
  • Keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
  • Arrange routine maintenance checks by qualified HVAC professionals to help keep systems running efficiency and safely year-round.

Take these steps to protect pipes during freezing weather:

  • Insulate vulnerable pipes and install outdoor faucet covers.
  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if the garage contains water lines.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around pipes.
  • Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes.
“Helping customers manage energy costs and stay comfortable is the goal of our Warm In, Winter Out program,” said Kemp. “Most of these strategies are simple and either low-cost or free to implement, so it’s definitely worth it to see the difference they make on energy bills.”

Customers may visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website at and select “Save Energy, Save Money” for information about improving the energy-efficiency of homes.

Starkville Utilities is a public utility serving 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville, Mississippi as well as Mississippi State University. Its mission is to supply safe, reliable, and cost-effective electric and water service of superior quality and value that improves the lives of its customers.

We are a Water and Electric Utilities Company in Starkville