6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring tons of exciting activities and events, but it can also do a number on your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home during harsh weather, many Tampa Bay families have high energy costs. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our experts at Langford Cooling in Tampa Bay created a list of ways you can save. Try them out and see 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. Put off doing laundry until you can do 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, 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 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 ways to save the most, including long- and short-term energy-saving options. 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 around doors and windows. Contact Langford Cooling to find out more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the simplest ways to achieve 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 Tampa Bay. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, think about purchasing 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 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 work. For more information on how you can lower your utility bills this winter, give Langford Cooling in Tampa Bay a call at 813-898-9553.