5 Ways to Lower Your Electricity Bills During Winter

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Nothing drives up your energy bill like using your heating unit all day. It's necessary if you want to stay comfortable during the colder months, but it's also expensive. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to save energy without giving up your comfort. Here are five ways you can lower your heating bill during winter.

1. Check Your Hot Water Temperature

Your HVAC unit isn't the only appliance that uses heating. Your hot water heater heats dozens of gallons of water every day. That also takes energy, and it might be more than you need. Check the side of the tank and see what temperature you're heating your water to. The default setting for most water heater tanks is 140 degrees. Turning it down just 10 degrees can save up to 5 percent on your monthly energy costs.

Be careful, though. If the temperature gets too low, it can cause bacteria growth, and your water could actually make you sick. The Department of Energy recommends a water temperature of no less than 120 degrees.

2. Take Advantage of Heat from Appliances

There are other appliances in your home that generate heat as well: your oven and your stove, for instance. As you're cooking, that heat can spread to the rest of your house. So if you're, say, making dinner, or baking cookies, you can turn your thermostat down for a few hours, while still enjoying a nice, warm house.

3. Make Sure Your Fireplace Is Efficient

If you have a fireplace, that's another great way of keeping your house cozy. But if it runs on gas, it also using energy. Have your fireplace inspected once a year, just before heating season begins, to see if it's functioning properly and safely. A few simple adjustments or repairs could reduce energy consumption and heat your home more efficiently.

4. Use a Smart Thermostat

The right thermostat is one of the best ways to heat your house more efficiently. A programmable thermostat lets you switch automatically to a more energy efficient setting when nobody's home, so you're not paying to heat an empty house. A smart thermostat takes things a step further.

It can be controlled via your smartphone and learns your heating preferences over time. Do you like it warmer in the mornings or cooler at bedtime? After a few days, it can start making those adjustments automatically, so there's no more accidentally leaving your furnace on all night. Likewise, it can sense when there's no one in the room, and turn itself off. Most importantly, the smart thermostat app can actually show you your energy consumption in real time, so you know where you're wasting energy and where you can save.

5. Use Smart Lighting

Much like smart thermostats, smart lighting can be controlled from your phone. You can dim them to a specific brightness level, saving energy by reducing wattage, as well as creating mood lighting. Motion detectors can also sense if someone is in the room and turn the lights off automatically when they leave. Plus, they use LED bulbs, which are more efficient than either halogen or fluorescent, and last much longer.

These are just a few ways you can save energy and lower your heating bills, without sacrificing comfort. Contact David Gray Electric today to find other ways you can reduce your energy consumption and heat your home more efficiently.

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