6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter season brings lots of fun activities and events, but it can also impact your budget. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy during harsh weather, many Augusta families are left with high energy bills. Luckily, there are easy ways to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at McCune Heating & Cooling in Augusta came up with a list of ways you can save. Try them out and enjoy lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Program your thermostat to lower heating output at times 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 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. Hold on doing laundry until you can do full loads. This will save you money on water heating, water usage and on heat needed for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than was really necessary, right? And, don’t forget: 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 find the places where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use extra energy. The assessment can show you ways to save as much as possible, including long- and short-term energy-saving possibilities. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your heating and cooling ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are plenty of 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 around doors and windows. Contact McCune Heating & Cooling to find out more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the easiest ways to get lower utility bills is to switch out your 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 Augusta. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, think about purchasing an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money a year on annual heating bills over older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a service visit for your current system. 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 McCune Heating & Cooling in Augusta a call at 316-733-9123.