Electrical tips for the winter season

Published: Dec. 22, 2014 at 2:41 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM EST
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With colder weather, often comes more expensive utility bills. Electricians share five ways to save cut costs.

A quick check around your home may show that you're completely plugged in and powered up. The big screen TV, the cable box, your laptop and phone charger may not be in use, but if they are plugged in, they may still be drawing power. Add all that to the additional costs you may be using to heat your home and it can add up. Here are some tips on ways to save this winter:

  • Unplug if not in use. It sounds simple, but take a quick check around your home and unplug anything you are not using. That includes the blender, electric toothbrush and phone charger. Electronics that continue to draw power even when they are switched off can add about $200 a year to your energy costs.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans. This is easy and free. Ceiling fans can help circulate warm air in the winter. Flip the small switch on the side of the fan to change the direction of the blades so they spin clockwise, this will help push warm air down into the room.
  • Upgrade your lighting. According to the Department of Energy: by replacing five of your most used lighting fixture with energy-saving bulbs, like CFL and LED you can save about $75 each year.
  • Use timers. Consider putting your inside and outside lighting on timers. These are easy to use and can be programmed to turn your lights off automatically when they are not needed.
  • Electrical checkup. Your home's electrical system may be getting a workout in the winter. Consider a whole house electrical checkup. A trusted electrician can identify safety concerns and offer ways to help protect your home and help save money.