Since heating and water heating account for most of your gas bill, fine-tuning these two areas will make the most dramatic impact on what you pay each month.
Walton EMC Natural Gas offers these tips for efficient energy use:
- Maintain your heating system. Keep the filter clean and make sure furniture and rugs are not blocking vents inside the house. Have a licensed contractor give the unit a tune-up and inspection. If your system is old, consider upgrading.
- Help your system do its job. Put on long sleeves or use a blanket. Consider installing a programmable thermostat. It's possible to save up to three percent for every degree lower you can set the thermostat during the winter.
- Open blinds and drapes during the day. Let the sun shine in during the winter for solar heating.
- Limit door and window openings.
- Don't waste hot water. Fix leaky pipes and faucets. Don't let hot water run when you're not in the shower. Install low-flow faucets and showerheads. Wash clothes in cold water. Lower the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees.
- Run appliances with full loads. Running the dryer or dishwasher with small loads uses the same amount of energy as running them with full loads.
- Weatherize your building. Make sure insulation and attic ventilation are adequate.
- Avoid comparing your present bill with the bill from a previous house. Homes turn out to be very different when it comes to energy features, construction techniques and the efficiency of the heating equipment.
- Avoid comparing bills with a neighbor. No two families have the same energy habits and attitudes.
- Remember how cold it might have been just a few weeks ago. The bill you get in the mail today is really a reflection of what took place up to five or six weeks ago.