Temperatures are cooling. Leaves are falling. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Autumn is here! The changing of seasons presents an ideal opportunity to assess your energy use and make sure your home or business is ready for the cold weather ahead. 

Here are nine things you can do to maximize your energy efficiency and minimize your electric bill during the winter. 

1. Dress for the cooler temperatures

It can be tempting to stay in t-shirts and shorts while at home this winter, but that will likely increase your reliance on the heater to stay warm. If you shift to sweats, socks, and blankets instead, you can set your thermostat lower and use less energy.

2. Adjust your thermostat when you are away

Assuming you can deal with a little chill when you first arrive home, lowering your thermostat before heading out on vacation or just for a day at the office can go a long way. There’s no need to heat an empty house, after all! Just don’t go too low if you have pets or plants.

3. Seal air leaks in doors and windows

Sealing even the smallest open space between a set of French doors will keep the cold air out and the warm air in, allowing your heater to run less. A quick trip to the local hardware store to purchase weatherstripping and caulk will go a long way. Installation is quick and easy and YouTube is full of videos to guide you.

4. Adjust your water temperature

There’s really no need to set your water heater’s thermostat above 120 degrees. Check your setting and adjust it if your heater is set above that. 

5. Assess your lighting

When we “fall back” to Standard Time in the fall, the sun goes down earlier and we rely on lighting for additional hours in the evenings. Using energy-efficient bulbs and, of course, turning off lights when you don’t need them on will translate to electric bill savings. 

6. Change the direction of your ceiling fan

Did you know most ceiling fans include a switch to rotate the blades in reverse (counterclockwise) during the winter? Since heat rises, doing this will push the warm air down and keep you warmer! Just remember to switch it back in the spring.

7. Use appliances wisely

Do you really need to run the dishwasher every night? How about holding off on the laundry until you have a full load? Both of these small changes will lower your electricity and your water bills! 

8. Close vents and doors in unused rooms

There’s no good reason to heat that basement bathroom no one uses! Close the vent and the door to direct heat to the areas of your home you use most. 

9. Call the power company

Sometimes all you have to do is pick up the phone and ask for a rate discount. No guarantees here, but it’s certainly worth a phone call. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! Need help? Just reach out to us!

You can save money this winter!

Which of the nine items on this list will you try this winter?  What tips should we add to the list?
Let us know and contact Shockley Electric to help with your electrical needs