6 Ways to Get Lower Utility Bills this Winter11/10/2014The winter months bring a bunch of enjoyable activities and events, but it can also impact your budget. From holiday lights to maintaining a warm home throughout harsh weather, many Beaverton families are left with high energy costs. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to decrease your expenses and achieve lower utility bills. Our team at Garoken Energy Co. Inc. in Beaverton created a list of ways you can save. Try them out and experience 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 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. Don’t do laundry until you have enough for full loads. This will help save money on water heating, water usage and on heat needed 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 places 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 options. 4. Properly seal your leaks. From your HVAC ducts to attics, walls and windows, there are many 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 on doors and windows. Contact Garoken Energy Co. Inc. to learn more about sealing your air ducts. 5. Use LED holiday lights. One of the simplest ways to get lower utility bills is to switch out your older holiday lights for LED lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs use less energy than incandescent bulbs and can work for nearly 40 holiday seasons in Beaverton. 6. Install a high-efficiency furnace. If you need to upgrade your furnace, think about purchasing an energy efficient furnace. Some systems can save significant amounts of money a year on annual heating bills compared to older furnaces. Or, if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, remember to schedule a routine maintenance visit for your current furnace. 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 achieve lower utility bills this winter, give Garoken Energy Co. Inc. in Beaverton a call at 503-848-3838.