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 do a number on your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home throughout harsh weather, many Sylmar families have high energy costs. Luckily, there are easy ways to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at American Premier Heating & Air Conditioning in Sylmar came up with a list of ways you can save. Try them out and experience 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 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 run full loads. This will save you money 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, don’t forget: cleaning 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 see the spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use excess energy. The assessment can show you ways 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 cold air seep through. Simply cover windows with plastic, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks around doors and windows. Contact American Premier Heating & Air Conditioning to find out 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 less efficient 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 Sylmar. 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 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 equipment. 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give American Premier Heating & Air Conditioning in Sylmar a call at 818-370-7266.