6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring tons of fun activities and events, but it can also impact your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home throughout harsh weather, many Middletown families have high energy expenses. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at Schagrin Gas Company in Middletown 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 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. Put off doing laundry until you can do full loads. This will help you save on water heating, water usage and on heat used for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than you have to anyway, right? And, don’t forget: 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 places where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use excess energy. The assessment can explain how to save on energy expenses, including long- and short-term energy-saving options. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your HVAC 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 on doors and windows. Contact Schagrin Gas Company to find out 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 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 Middletown. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, think about purchasing an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money a year on annual heating bills compared to 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 do its job. For more information on how you can lower your utility bills this winter, give Schagrin Gas Company in Middletown a call at 302-658-2000.