6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings a bunch of fun activities and events, but it can also take a toll on your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home throughout harsh weather, many West Palm Beach families have high energy bills. Luckily, there are steps you can take to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. in West Palm Beach put together 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 during hours 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 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. Hold on doing 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 determine the spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use extra 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 HVAC ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are plenty of areas in your home that may be letting in unwanted cold air. Simply tape heavy plastic over the windows, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks on doors and windows. Contact Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. 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 West Palm Beach. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 yearly on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a maintenance visit for your current furnace. A quick 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. in West Palm Beach a call at 561-656-4255.