6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings tons of fun 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 the Upper Rio Grande Valley families have high energy costs. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Cytech Heating & Cooling in the Upper Rio Grande Valley created a list of ways you can save. Try them out and enjoy lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Set 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. Don’t do laundry until you can do full loads. This will help save money on water heating, water usage and on heat required for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than was really necessary, right? And, don’t forget: 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 excess energy. The assessment can show you ways to save as much as possible, including long- and short-term energy-saving options. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your air ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are a number of 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 coming through doors and windows. Contact Cytech Heating & Cooling 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 older 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 up to 40 holiday seasons in the Upper Rio Grande Valley. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money every year on annual heating bills over older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a service visit for your current furnace. An easy tune-up can help you achieve lower utility bills by making it easier for the system to work. For more information on how you can lower your utility bills this winter, give Cytech Heating & Cooling in the Upper Rio Grande Valley a call at 956-630-3522.