6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter season brings tons of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also impact your wallet. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home throughout harsh weather, many Excelsior Springs families experience high energy costs. Luckily, there are easy ways to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at Colvin's Inc in Excelsior Springs created a list of ways you can save. Try them out and see 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 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. Don’t do 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 was really necessary, right? And, keep in mind: 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 find 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 heating and cooling ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many areas in your home that may be letting cold air seep through. Simply tape heavy plastic over the windows, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks coming through doors and windows. Contact Colvin's Inc to learn 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 Excelsior Springs. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money every year on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current system. An easy tune-up can help you achieve lower utility bills by making it easier for the system to work. For more information on how you can achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Colvin's Inc in Excelsior Springs a call at 816-630-2702.