6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings lots of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also impact your pocketbook. From holiday lights to keeping your home cozy in the middle of harsh weather, many Hattiesburg families are left with high energy bills. Luckily, there are easy ways to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning in Hattiesburg 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 lower 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 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 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 extra energy. The assessment can show you how to save the most, including long- and short-term energy-saving solutions. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your air ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are plenty 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 coming through doors and windows. Contact Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning to hear more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the simplest 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 work for nearly 40 holiday seasons in Hattiesburg. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money every year on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if it’s not quite time for a replacement, remember to schedule a routine 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 Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning in Hattiesburg a call at 601-268-3486.