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 maintaining a warm home during harsh weather, many South Beloit and Belvidere families have high energy expenses. Luckily, there are steps you can take to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. in South Beloit and Belvidere came up with a list of ways you can save. Try them out and enjoy lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Change your thermostat to lower heating output during hours 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 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. Don’t do laundry until you can run full loads. This will help save money on water heating, water usage and on heat required for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than was really necessary, right? And, keep in mind: 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 find the spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use extra energy. The assessment can show you ways 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 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 on doors and windows. Contact Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. 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 less efficient 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 nearly 40 holiday seasons in South Beloit and Belvidere. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money every year on annual heating bills over older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a service visit for your current furnace. A quick 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 Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. in South Beloit and Belvidere a call at 877-389-2465.