6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings tons of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also take a toll on your budget. From holiday lights to staying warm throughout harsh weather, many Albuquerque families have high energy bills. Luckily, there are steps you can take to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Desert Suns Heating & Cooling in Albuquerque 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. Program your thermostat to lower heating output 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 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. Don’t do laundry until you can do full loads. This will help you save on water heating, water usage and on heat needed for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than was really necessary, 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 see the areas where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use excess energy. The assessment can explain how to save as much as possible, including long- and short-term energy-saving possibilities. 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 letting cold air seep through. Simply cover windows with plastic, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks around doors and windows. Contact Desert Suns Heating & Cooling to hear more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One easy way 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 Albuquerque. 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 yearly on annual heating bills over older furnaces. Or, if it’s not quite time for a replacement, remember to schedule a service visit for your current equipment. 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 reduce your utility bills this winter, give Desert Suns Heating & Cooling in Albuquerque a call at 505-994-9176.