Energy Saving Tips
Helpful Energy Saving Tips for Your Home
Natural Gas is America's most popular heating fuel. And thanks to efficiency gains, the average American home uses 22% less natural gas than it did in 1980. An energy-efficient home can save you money on your monthly natural gas bill. Here are some tips to help keep your bill down.
Use Energy Wisely
Wash with a Full Load
By running washing machines and clothes dryers with a full load, you reduce the overall number of times you use these appliances and avoid wasting water and energy.
For additional savings, wash clothes in cold water when possible and don’t wash on the longest setting unless necessary.
Regularly clean the air vent leading from your dryer to outside as well as the lint screen to maintain efficiency.
Natural gas dryers dry clothes faster for less and are demanded by businesses that do loads of laundry (e.g. hotels, hospitals, nursing homes).
Take showers instead of baths and keep them as short and cool as tolerable. An average bath uses 15–25 gallons of hot water while a five-minute shower uses less than 10 gallons.
Turn off the bathroom vent fan as soon as you are done using it to avoid losing heated or cooled air.
Fix Leaky Faucets
One drip can waste 250 gallons of water a month or 3,000 gallons per year. Place faucet levers in the cold position when using small amounts of water because the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet.
Use the Stove Efficiently
When cooking, make sure the size of your pan matches the size of the burner. If the flames are bigger than the pan base, you are wasting heat. Keep range-top burners clean so heat reflects properly. Turn off the range hood fan as soon as you are done using it to avoid losing heated or cooled air.
Keep the Oven Closed
Opening the oven door to check food wastes energy and increases cooking time. Use the self-cleaning oven feature after baking to avoid having to reheat the oven.
Set the Thermostat
Set thermostats between 65 and 70 degrees during the winter, and at 58 degrees when away from the house for more than a few hours. Experiment with your settings during the heating season to find a lower temperature that is comfortable. Bear in mind that warmer temperatures are recommended for homes with ill or elderly persons or infants.
Turn down thermostats automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.
Use Draperies & Blinds
On sunny days, open draperies and blinds to let the sun's warmth in. Close them at night to insulate against cold air outside.
Replace Air Filters
Change or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Use receipts of your natural gas bill as a reminder.
Maximize Air Flow
Move furniture, draperies, and other objects away from registers to ensure proper air flow.
Reflect Heat from Radiators
Place a sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall to reflect heat back into the room.
Keep the Cold Out
Reduce Air Leaks
Lower your energy bill by reducing air leaks around:
Close the Chimney Flue
Remember to close the chimney flue when the fireplace is not in use. An open flue is like an open window allowing warm air to escape 24 hours a day. Natural gas vent-free fireplaces are 99.9% efficient.
Long-term Energy Efficiency Improvements
Insulate the Attic
Check to see if the attic and basement have the recommended levels of insulation. Adding insulation is a cost-effective way to reduce heating costs. Purchase insulation with a high R-value. The higher the R-value, the more effective your insulation.
Insulate & Clean the Water Heater
Wrap the water heater tank with an insulation blanket (in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines) to keep water in the tank warm, thereby reducing the amount of energy needed to heat up the water. Also, insulate the water pipes leading out from your water heater with inexpensive foam sleeves.
Periodically drain the water heater until water runs clear. This allows sediment and mineral deposits to escape and increases efficiency.
Take advantage of performance and savings by installing a natural gas water heater. It can heat water much faster for must less money. For the most hot water and the highest efficiency in the smallest space, install a natural gas tankless water heater.
Inspect Your Heating System
Schedule an annual inspection of your heating system. A qualified contractor can inspect your furnace to ensure it is working properly. If repairs are needed, have a qualified contractor perform the work.
Replace Doors & Windows
Install storm or thermal windows and doors or double-paned glass. A less expensive alternative is plastic sheeting.