6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings tons of exciting activities and events, but it can also do a number on your wallet. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy throughout harsh weather, many the Main Line families experience high energy expenses. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning in the Main Line put together a list of ways you can save. Try them out and enjoy lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Change your thermostat to lower heating output at times when you’re asleep or not home. Three to five percent more energy is consumed 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 can run 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 was really necessary, right? And, keep in mind: 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 find the spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use extra 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 heating and cooling ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many 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 around doors and windows. Contact O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning 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 nearly 40 holiday seasons in the Main Line. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 a year on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a 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 reduce your utility bills this winter, give O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning in the Main Line a call at 610-257-7035.