6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring tons of fun activities and events, but it can also do a number on your pocketbook. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy in the middle of harsh weather, many Ridgedale and the Branson area families have high energy bills. Luckily, there are easy ways to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Branson HVAC, LLC in Ridgedale and the Branson area created a list of ways you can save. Try them out and experience lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Change your thermostat to lower heating output at times 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 save you money on water heating, water usage and on heat required for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than actually needed, 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 determine the areas where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use more energy. The assessment can explain how to save on energy expenses, including long- and short-term energy-saving options. 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 allowing cold air in. Simply tape heavy plastic over the windows, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks on doors and windows. Contact Branson HVAC, LLC to learn 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, these lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 40 holiday seasons in Ridgedale and the Branson area. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, think about purchasing an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 every year on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a service visit for your current equipment. A quick 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 reduce your utility bills this winter, give Branson HVAC, LLC in Ridgedale and the Branson area a call at 417-544-4430.