6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter season brings a bunch of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also impact your wallet. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy during harsh weather, many Longview families are left with high energy costs. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc. in Longview put together 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 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 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. Don’t do laundry until you can do full loads. This will save you money 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, 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 find the spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use excess energy. The assessment can show you ways to save the most, including long- and short-term energy-saving solutions. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your air ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are plenty of areas in your home that may be letting cold air seep through. Simply cover windows with plastic, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks coming through doors and windows. Contact Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc. 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 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 Longview. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, think about purchasing an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 a year on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a service visit for your current furnace. An easy 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 lower your utility bills this winter, give Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc. in Longview a call at 903-758-0701.