Columbia, SC (WLTX) - As the weather gets cooler, you want to make sure you are keeping your house warm in a safe and frugal way.

Electric cooperatives and energy companies such as SCE&G conduct free home energy check-ups.

SCE&G energy auditors suggest cleaning your filters and chimneys.

“We recommend the setting of 68 or lower on their heating and air system so that that heat’s not coming on quite as often,” SCE&G’s Ginger Greenway said. “We hear from customers that’s a little too cool for them in the winter so we suggest maybe trying a couple of degrees lower than what they normally keep it on, wait a week and see if they can get lower to that 68.”

Greenway also suggests attic insulation being 12-14 inches thick. She says you or a professional should also check your ductwork underneath your house to ensure its sealed properly.

“We suggest caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows cause you want to make sure you’re filling in all those cracks and crevices, so you keep that conditioned air in the home,” Greenway explained.

There are also some very simple tips homeowners can do.

“During the day you want to open those curtains and blind and let that radiant heat in,” Greenway said. “In order to cut that thermostat down a couple of degrees, add an extra blanket to the bed and then really make sure that you are keeping those blinds and curtains closed at night, that can also help.”

Captain Brick Lewis with the Columbia Fire Department also says to be extra careful when using space heaters.

“That 3 foot area around a space heater is key,” Lewis said. “Keep our children away from them, keep our pet away from them, they’re too easy to knock over, too easy to start a fire.”

Lewis also says to make sure the wiring in a space heater is working properly and he also says you should always be looking for recalls.

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