Electricity keeps you comfortable, healthy, clean and connected. It also costs you money. That’s especially true in winter, when heating costs skyrocket.

The good news is it’s easy to save money by reducing the energy you use. It’s also good for the environment. Here are 8 simple tips for saving money on your electric bill this winter.

#1. Turn It Down

Turn your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees at night and when you’re not home during the day. This one step can result in 10 percent savings on your heating bills over the course of the year.

Invest in flannel sheets and a comforter for your bed. Your bedroom will be cooler, but you’ll stay warm and cozy even on the coldest nights.

#2. Bundle Up

Keep the temperature about three degrees lower than you regularly set it. Then put on a sweater. Snuggle under a fleece throw while you watch television or read in the evening.

For each degree you reduce your thermostat, experts say you can reduce your monthly heating bill about 3 percent. You save money as electric costs go down.

#3. Use the Sun

Despite all the overcast days so prevalent in the typical Northwest winter, the sun comes out occasionally. Solar heat is an excellent—and free—source of heat for your home.

During the day, leave the curtains open on windows facing south. This lets in the warmth of the sun and naturally raises the temperature in your home. When the sun goes down, pull your drapes and close your blinds so the warmth stays inside.

#4. Insulate

Cold air is sneaky. It will find cracks and other openings, creating uncomfortable drafts and letting out your expensive warm air, adding to your monthly electric bill.

Add weather stripping around windows and door. Caulk cracks to stop drafts. Increase the amount of insulation in your attic and walls. Consider investing in double-pane windows.

#5. Tune Up Your Furnace

Get your furnace tuned up each year. An experienced technician can change the air filter and detect potential problems due to damage and wear and tear.

Learn how to clean and change the air filter yourself. Then check it monthly. You save money, electric costs go down, and your furnace operates more efficiently.

#6. Close Doors

Don’t heat an unused guest room or storage in the basement. You’re just wasting money. Close doors to rooms that aren’t used. Seal off the vents in them so warm air is sent to the rooms you’re actually using.

#7. Turn Off Electronics

It’s often overlooked, but you can save money by unplugging electronics when they aren’t in use. Features like instant-on televisions can really use up energy quickly. And that’s true even when they aren’t being used. It’s also a good idea to turn off your computer when not in use.

#8. Use Appliances Efficiently

When your appliances run efficiently, they use less energy and you save money on your electric bill. A few simple changes can make them more cost-effective.

  • Refrigerator: clean the condenser coils. Check the appliance manuals, YouTube or do-it-yourself websites for how-to information.
  • Dryer: dry your loads one right after the other. This makes the most of the heat already in the dryer. Be sure to clean the lint filter before you run a load. When the filter is clogged with lint, the dryer needs more energy to get clothes dry. It can also cause safety problems.
  • Dishwasher: run your dishwasher only when you have a full load.

Worried about electrical problems in your home? Save more money and stay safe by calling the experts at Prairie Electric today.