RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --
The cold temperatures are no secret, but more mystifying is how to keep your thermostat at just the right temperature--to stay warm and save money.
Across Central Virginia Tuesday, homeowners were beating the heat by staying inside and keeping warm. But it is also no secret that the colder it is, the more EXPENSIVE it is to keep your house warm. [BONUS: Click here for more energy saving tips from Dominion Virginia Power]
According to Virginia Dominion Power spokesman Janell Hancock, if Virginia are concerned about large electric bills, the ideal temperature to set your thermostat is 68 degrees.
Hancock says every degree you raise it above that will cost you three percent more on your electric bill.
"Probably the easiest advice is to dress in layers - wear a sweatshirt," Hancock says.
She also recommends measures like opening the curtains and blinds in the daytime to allow the sunshine inside.
But some Virginians will still try to stay warm through "alternative" measures - measures that might not be safe.
Those include turning gas stoves on and keeping them on in kitchens - as well as having space heaters kept on for too long or kept too close objects.
Other measures to stay warm on a budget that might be dangerous include using candles inappropriately or a fireplace if it has not had a proper inspection.
"Candles are never recommended for heating objects or staying warm," Lt. RJ Whaley with the Henrico Fire Department said.