6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring tons of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also do a number on your pocketbook. From holiday lights to staying warm in the middle of harsh weather, many Augusta families experience high energy bills. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at Sig Cox Heating and Air Conditioning in Augusta 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 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 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 have enough for 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 actually needed, 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 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 as much as possible, including long- and short-term energy-saving options. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your air ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are a number 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 on doors and windows. Contact Sig Cox Heating and Air Conditioning to hear more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the simplest 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, LEDs use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Augusta. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save hundreds of dollars a year on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a service visit for your current system. 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Sig Cox Heating and Air Conditioning in Augusta a call at 706-722-5304.