6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter season brings a bunch of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also take a toll on your budget. From holiday lights to staying warm in the middle of harsh weather, many Auburn families are left with high energy bills. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Forster Heating in Auburn 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. Set your thermostat to lower heating output at times when you’re asleep or not home. Three to five percent more energy is used 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 do full loads. This will help you save 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, remember: 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 places 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 the most, 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 plenty of 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 coming through doors and windows. Contact Forster Heating 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 holiday lights for LED lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Auburn. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 every year on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if it’s not quite time for a replacement, remember to schedule a maintenance visit for your current system. An easy 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 reduce your utility bills this winter, give Forster Heating in Auburn a call at 530-885-8081.