6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings tons of fun activities and events, but it can also take a toll on your wallet. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home in the middle of harsh weather, many Thousand Oaks families have high energy bills. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Air Max HVAC Inc in Thousand Oaks put together 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 at times 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 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. Put off doing laundry until you have enough for 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 you have to anyway, right? And, keep in mind: cleaning out 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 excess 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 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 Air Max HVAC Inc to learn more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One easy way to receive lower utility bills is to switch out your older 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 up to 40 holiday seasons in Thousand Oaks. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, think about purchasing an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 a year on annual heating bills over older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, 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 work. For more information on how you can lower your utility bills this winter, give Air Max HVAC Inc in Thousand Oaks a call at 805-217-8662.