6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring lots of fun activities and events, but it can also take a toll on your wallet. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy during harsh weather, many Colfax families are left with high energy bills. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at Ackerman Heating & Air Conditioning in Colfax created a list of ways you can save. Try them out and enjoy lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat to lower heating output during hours when you’re asleep or not home. Three to five percent more energy is consumed when your furnace is set above 68 degrees, so try keeping your home at 68 degrees when you’re at home and awake, and lower to 55-65 degrees at times when you’re away at work, out of town or sleeping to achieve lower utility bills. 2. Make sure you only wash when you have full loads. Put off doing laundry until you have enough for full loads. This will help you save on water heating, water usage and on heat required for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than actually needed, right? And, remember: clearing out the lint trap after every load can save you up to $34 a year, according to PG&E. 3. Conduct a home energy audit. A home energy audit can help you see the places where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use more energy. The assessment can show you how to save the most, including long- and short-term energy-saving possibilities. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your HVAC ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many areas in your home that may be letting in unwanted cold air. Simply tape heavy plastic over the windows, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks around doors and windows. Contact Ackerman Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One easy way to receive lower utility bills is to switch out your older holiday lights for LED lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Colfax. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 every year on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current furnace. A simple tune-up can help you achieve lower utility bills by making it easier for the system to operate. For more information on how you can lower your utility bills this winter, give Ackerman Heating & Air Conditioning in Colfax a call at 509-397-3622.