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 maintaining a warm home during harsh weather, many McHenry families are left with high energy expenses. Luckily, there are easy ways to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at Jett's Heating & Air Inc. in McHenry created a list of ways you can save. Try them out and experience lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat to lower heating output at times 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 help you save on water heating, water usage and on heat used for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than you have to anyway, 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 determine the spots 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 possibilities. 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 letting cold air seep through. Simply cover drafty windows with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks on doors and windows. Contact Jett's Heating & Air Inc. 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 work for nearly 40 holiday seasons in McHenry. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, look into 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 system. A simple 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 reduce your utility bills this winter, give Jett's Heating & Air Inc. in McHenry a call at 815-459-4700.