6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring tons of fun activities and events, but it can also do a number on your pocketbook. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home in the middle of harsh weather, many Keokuk families experience high energy costs. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at WM J Kraus & Son in Keokuk put together a list of ways you can save. Try them out and enjoy lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Program 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. Put off doing laundry until you can do full loads. This will help you save 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, remember: 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 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 on energy expenses, including long- and short-term energy-saving solutions. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your heating and cooling ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are plenty of areas in your home that may be allowing cold air in. Simply cover windows with plastic, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks coming through doors and windows. Contact WM J Kraus & Son to find out 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 lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can work for nearly 40 holiday seasons in Keokuk. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to replace your furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save up to $800 every year on annual heating bills over older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a maintenance visit for your current system. A quick tune-up can help you achieve lower utility bills by making it easier for the system to do its job. For more information on how you can lower your utility bills this winter, give WM J Kraus & Son in Keokuk a call at 319-524-3714.