6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings a bunch of fun activities and events, but it can also impact your pocketbook. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home in the middle of harsh weather, many Muskogee families are left with high energy bills. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. in Muskogee 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 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 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. Put off doing laundry until you can run 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 was really necessary, 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 extra 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 heating and cooling ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are plenty of areas in your home that may be letting cold air seep through. Simply cover drafty windows with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks coming through doors and windows. Contact Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. to hear more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One easy way 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 lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Muskogee. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save hundreds of dollars a year on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if it’s not quite time for a replacement, remember to schedule a maintenance visit for your current furnace. An easy 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. in Muskogee a call at 918-682-8238.