6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The cold season brings a bunch of exciting activities and events, but it can also impact your wallet. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home during harsh weather, many Rapid City families have high energy expenses. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to cut back your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our professionals at Street Heating & Sheet Metal Inc in Rapid City put together a list of ways you can save. Try them out and see lower utility bills this winter season. 1. Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat to lower heating output 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 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, 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 find the spots where your home is losing energy through leaks, drafts, or products and appliances that use excess energy. The assessment can explain how to save the most, including long- and short-term energy-saving solutions. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your HVAC ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are plenty of areas in your home that may be letting in unwanted cold air. Simply tape heavy plastic over the windows, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks around doors and windows. Contact Street Heating & Sheet Metal Inc to find out 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 energy efficient lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last nearly 40 holiday seasons in Rapid City. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need a new furnace, look into an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money yearly on annual heating bills versus older furnaces. Or, if it’s not quite time for a replacement, remember to schedule a maintenance visit for your current furnace. An easy 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 Street Heating & Sheet Metal Inc in Rapid City a call at 605-342-5107.