6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter

November 10, 2014

The winter months bring lots of fun activities and events, but it can also do a number on your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home throughout harsh weather, many Cedar Rapids families have high energy costs. Luckily, there are steps you can take to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills.

Our experts at Ilten's Incorporated in Cedar Rapids created 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 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 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 run full loads. This will save you 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, keep in mind: 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 see 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 on energy expenses, including long- and short-term energy-saving solutions.

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 in unwanted cold air. Simply cover drafty windows with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks on doors and windows. Contact Ilten's Incorporated to find out more about sealing your air ducts.

5. Use LED holiday lights.

One of the easiest ways to get 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 last up to 40 holiday seasons in Cedar Rapids.

6. Install a high-efficiency furnace.

If you need to replace your furnace, consider an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save hundreds of dollars yearly on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if you’ve made a replacement recently, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current system. An easy 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Ilten's Incorporated in Cedar Rapids a call at 319-208-3295.