6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter season brings a bunch of fun activities and events, but it can also do a number on your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home during harsh weather, many Genoa families have high energy costs. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Assured Appliance and Heating & Air in Genoa came up with a list of ways you can save. Try them out and see lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Change your thermostat to lower heating output during hours when you’re asleep or not home. Three to five percent more energy is used when your furnace is set above 68 degrees, so try keeping your home at 68 degrees when you’re at home and awake, and reduce the temperature 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. Hold on doing laundry until you have enough for full loads. This will help you save on water heating, water usage and on heat used for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than actually needed, right? And, don’t forget: cleaning 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 determine the spots 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 solutions. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your heating and cooling ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many areas in your home that may be allowing cold air in. Simply cover drafty windows with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks on doors and windows. Contact Assured Appliance and Heating & Air to find out more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One easy way to get lower utility bills is to switch out your older, less efficient holiday lights for LED lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 40 holiday seasons in Genoa. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money a year on annual heating bills over older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current equipment. A quick tune-up can help you achieve lower utility bills by making it easier for the system to do its job. For more information on how you can reduce your utility bills this winter, give Assured Appliance and Heating & Air in Genoa a call at 847-293-0047.