6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings tons of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also impact your budget. From holiday lights to staying warm during harsh weather, many Baltimore families experience high energy bills. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Quality Refrigeration in Baltimore put together a list of ways you can save. Try them out and experience 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 decrease 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 can do full loads. This will help you save on water heating, water usage and on heat needed for the dryer. You don’t want to do more laundry than you have to anyway, right? And, remember: 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 determine the spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use extra energy. The assessment can show you ways to save the most, including long- and short-term energy-saving possibilities. 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 letting in unwanted cold air. Simply cover drafty windows with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks around doors and windows. Contact Quality Refrigeration to learn more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the easiest ways to receive lower utility bills is to switch out your older 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 Baltimore. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money 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 work. For more information on how you can lower your utility bills this winter, give Quality Refrigeration in Baltimore a call at 410-355-6010.