6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring tons of exciting activities and events, but it can also impact your budget. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy in the middle of harsh weather, many Midlothian 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 Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp. in Midlothian created 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 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 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. Hold on doing laundry until you can run 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 you have to anyway, right? And, remember: clearing 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 spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use more energy. The assessment can show you ways 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 a number of areas in your home that may be allowing cold air in. Simply cover drafty windows with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks coming through doors and windows. Contact Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp. to learn more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the easiest ways to receive lower utility bills is to switch out your less efficient holiday lights for LED lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 40 holiday seasons in Midlothian. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money yearly on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current furnace. 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 Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp. in Midlothian a call at 804-379-1155.