6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter season brings lots of exciting activities and events, but it can also take a toll on your budget. From holiday lights to staying warm in the middle of harsh weather, many Odessa families have high energy costs. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning in Odessa put together a list of ways you can save. Try them out and experience lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Change 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 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 help you save on water heating, water usage and on heat required for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than actually needed, right? And, keep in mind: 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 more energy. The assessment can show you ways to save on energy expenses, including long- and short-term energy-saving solutions. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your HVAC ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many areas in your home that may be letting cold air seep through. Simply tape heavy plastic over the windows, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks coming through doors and windows. Contact Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning to hear more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the easiest ways to get 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 lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can work for nearly 40 holiday seasons in Odessa. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money yearly on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a maintenance visit for your current furnace. An easy 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning in Odessa a call at 432-333-2208.