6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings a bunch of exciting activities and events, but it can also impact your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home in the middle of harsh weather, many Hudsonville families are left with high energy expenses. Luckily, there are steps you can take to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services in Hudsonville 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. Program your thermostat to lower heating output 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 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 run 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 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 determine the areas where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use extra energy. The assessment can explain how to save the most, including long- and short-term energy-saving options. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your HVAC ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many 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 on doors and windows. Contact West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services to find out more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the simplest ways to receive 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 Hudsonville. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 yearly on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if it’s not quite time for a replacement, remember to schedule a service visit for your current system. A simple 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 lower your utility bills this winter, give West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services in Hudsonville a call at 616-669-3961.