When should Central Floridians turn on the heat ahead of Arctic cold blast? Experts explain

Temperatures in 20s, 30s expected in Orlando on Christmas Eve

ORLANDO, Fla. – As Central Florida braces for freezing temperatures Christmas week, experts with Del-Air suggest homeowners turn on the heat sooner rather than later.

Ken Veneziano, president of Del-Air, said homeowners shouldn’t wait until the cold weather arrives to turn on the heat.

“Go to your thermostat, put it on heat mode, 69 or 70 degrees,” Veneziano said. “You certainly don’t want to keep your system off now or even in cool mode.”

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He said if homeowners wait until late Friday night to turn on the heat, the system will work overtime trying to get your home warm when it’s already cold.

“The systems are designed to maintain heat levels and to gradually warm the home,” Veneziano said. “With it being in heat mode when it gets really cold, your system will have to work a lot less harder than it would otherwise.”

The magic number to set your heat is 68 degrees if you want to save money. But Martin Kamens, Del-Air’s quality control manager, said set people heat their homes to a temperature they’re comfortable with.

“Some people like it 72, 73 -- 68 is the most efficient money-wise -- but comfort is the most important thing to people,” Kamens said.

If this is the first time you’re turning on your heat this season, Kamens said don’t worry if you smell something burning.

“It’s going to smell. Some people say it’s a really horrible smell, but it won’t last long,” Kamens said.

Veneziano said your unit’s condenser coils could also freeze in the cold temps, but that’s normal, too.

“It’s going to go through a defrosting process where you’re going to have steam shooting out and water pouring out and that’s natural, so don’t be freaked out,” Veneziano said.

Other tips Del-Air experts shared include turning on your pool pump overnight and letting a faucet drip to make sure your pipes don’t freeze. You also want to keep your windows and doors closed.

Del-Air recommends getting your cooling and heating system checked out twice a year to make sure everything is running efficiently. If you have any problems or need service help, you can call Del-Air at 888-831-COOL.