6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings tons of exciting activities and events, but it can also impact your pocketbook. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home throughout harsh weather, many Carlsbad families have high energy expenses. Luckily, there are steps you can take to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services in Carlsbad came up with 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 when you’re asleep or not home. Three to five percent more energy is required 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. 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 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 places where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use excess energy. The assessment can explain 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 a number of areas in your home that may be allowing cold air in. Simply cover windows with plastic, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks on doors and windows. Contact Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services to hear more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the simplest 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, LEDs use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Carlsbad. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save hundreds of dollars a year on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a 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 Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services in Carlsbad a call at 575-887-7777.