6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter season brings tons of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also do a number on your pocketbook. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy during harsh weather, many Chicago families experience high energy expenses. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at iTemp Heating and Air Conditioning in Chicago put together a list of ways you can save. Try them out and enjoy 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 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 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. Hold on doing laundry until you have enough for full loads. This will save you money on water heating, water usage and on heat required for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than you have to anyway, 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 areas where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use more energy. The assessment can show you how 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 in unwanted cold air. Simply cover windows with plastic, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks coming through doors and windows. Contact iTemp Heating and Air Conditioning to hear more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the easiest ways to achieve 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 energy efficient lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Chicago. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, think about purchasing an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 every year on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current system. A quick 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 reduce your utility bills this winter, give iTemp Heating and Air Conditioning in Chicago a call at 773-704-0640.