6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring lots of fun activities and events, but it can also impact your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home during harsh weather, many Elmhurst families have high energy costs. Luckily, there are easy ways to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. in Elmhurst came up with a list of ways you can save. Try them out and experience lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat to lower heating output 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 decrease 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 can do full loads. This will save you money on water heating, water usage and on heat used for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than you have to anyway, right? And, remember: 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 see the areas 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 on energy expenses, including long- and short-term energy-saving solutions. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your air ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many areas in your home that may be allowing cold air in. Simply tape heavy plastic over the windows, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks on doors and windows. Contact Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. to find out more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the easiest ways to achieve 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 energy efficient lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Elmhurst. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money every year on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current equipment. A simple 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. in Elmhurst a call at 630-833-1100.