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Millions of New Yorkers just starting to turn up the heat, says study

Posted 12/1/22

Baby its cold outside, but some New Yorkers — approximately 3.2 million — are still waiting for temperatures to consistently reach freezing before turning on the heaters, reveals a study.

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Millions of New Yorkers just starting to turn up the heat, says study

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Baby its cold outside, but some New Yorkers — approximately 3.2 million — are still waiting for temperatures to consistently reach freezing before turning on the heaters, reveals a study by ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba.

According to the study, higher energy prices, inflation and an overall increase in the cost of living, has led to increased belt-tightening, including cutting their spending on such essentials as heating to save money.

ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba surveyed 3,000 respondents to find out how many say they only plan on turning on their heating when average temperatures reach freezing (or the lowest temperature where they live).

The survey revealed that 3.2 million New Yorkers, 21%, will only turn their heating on when average outdoor temperatures reach 32 degrees.  

The company analyzed 30 years of historical weather data from Weatherspark.com to identify the precise date that average temperatures fall to freezing, which traditionally occurs on Nov. 26 in New York. A warmer than average fall and late fall have delayed that slightly this year. 

New Yorkers aren’t alone in their cost-savings quest. More than1 million hardy Tennesseans will wait until Jan. 7, 2023 when temperatures reach 32 degrees before they turn on the heating. 

Some lucky states, however, never reach freezing point at all; the coldest it will get in Louisiana for example is 35 degrees. There, 1 in 3 locals will wait until Jan. 23, 2023, when it falls to that temperature, before warming their homes. 

“We all want to stay warm, dry and safe this winter,’ says Diana Rodriguez from ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. “Just a few simple tips can help ensure you’re not left shivering or paying a ton for damage that could have been prevented.”

According to figures from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. consumers can expect to pay up to 28% more to heat their homes this winter compared to last year, due to higher fuel costs and slightly colder weather. 

Apart from staying warm and comfortable, heating also helps to protect your home.

One big risk with not turning on the heating is that pipes can burst (caused when the water in them freezes due to not being heated up, expands, and then breaks the pipe itself, causing the thawed water to escape), often causing home flood damage and thousands of dollars in restoration costs. 

Having the heating on can also prevent mold from forming in your home, as it will warm the cold air which otherwise would form as condensation and coat walls and windows. 

Here are some tips from ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba to save money on your heating bill this winter:

  • Service your appliances to make sure they are working effectively;
  • Clean your heating system to ensure nothing is blocked and/or there are no leaks. Seal all potential leaks/openings against drafts coming into the house;
  • Keep windows covered by curtains — about 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost via windows;
  • Lower your thermostat by a few degrees — this can help save up to 10% on your energy bill. Keep the heating on at the lowest bearable level at night, while out at work, or on vacation, to avoid pipes freezing, thawing and flooding your home;
  • Insulate pipes beforehand, if possible;
  • Don’t block space heaters or heating vents so warm air can circulate effectively. This also prevents fires from starting. 

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