Heating bill could increase 10-20 percent due to life-threatening temperatures

NOW: Heating bill could increase 10-20 percent due to life-threatening temperatures

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- A drop in temperatures means your electricity bill is probably going to do the opposite. 

Habits like constantly adjusting the temperature of your home can set you back a few dollars.

To help offset some of the costs, you can turn the temperature down during the night and when you’re not home.

“I usually recommend setting it at a 10 degree difference from where you usually have it. So if you keep it at 70 I recommend setting it at 60 degrees at night or during the day," said Legacy Heating and Air service manager, Sean Hunter.

Depending on the system used in your house, those running their home on gas could expect a higher bill than others.

“I see maybe a 10 percent increase in electric. Gas might see a 20 percent increase. An older home may use more gas than the same size house that’s well insulated," said Hunter.

So let’s break that down.

If your electric bill is normally 100 dollars-- expect to pay around 110 dollars.

For gas, about 120 dollars.

While you might be tempted to save money by turning off the heat completely when you're not home, that is not recommended.

Your house could cool down so much in these extreme temperatures, that heating it back to a comfortable temperature when you get home wastes more energy than simply letting it run.

“In this kind of temperature I might be reluctant to turn it down to anything under 55 because if something does happen, in this kind of temperature, your home could get down to freezing," said Hunter.

If worse comes to worst and you suspect problems for your heating system, he says a lot of folks will try to fix the problems themselves.

Something experts say you shouldn’t gamble with when temperatures start getting dangerous.

“I would recommend in this kind of temperature it’s best to call. Go ahead get somebody to your house so that problem could be addressed. You don’t want to be stuck in your home overnight with no heat," said Hunter.

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