Reduce Your Gas Bill
Save money and stay cozy with these room-by-room cost cutting tips
Three things impact your natural gas bill each month:
- You: The amount of energy you use
- The Weather: How it impacts your energy use
- Your Home: How well you insulate
Bottom line: The more natural gas you use, the higher your bill. While you can’t control the weather outside, you can control several things inside to make a big difference in your bill. Save money and stay cozy with these energy saving, room-by-room tips.
- Install a programmable thermostat to automatically reduce heating and cooling in your home when you don't need as much.
- Seal air leaks with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping to keep comfortable air in and uncomfortable air out. Start by sealing leaks in your attic, basement and crawl spaces. Next, seal around windows, doors, ductwork and electrical outlets.
- Change air filters frequently. A dirty filter wastes energy by preventing airflow. Check them every month, and replace them if they look dirty. At a minimum, they should be changed every three months.
- Use compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. You can lower your lighting bill by converting to energy-efficient, low-wattage lighting and fixtures.
- Set the furnace thermostat at 68° F or lower, and the air-conditioner thermostat at 78° F or higher. Between 3% and 5% more energy is used for each degree the furnace is set above 68° F and for each degree the air conditioner is set below 78° F.
- Upgrade heating equipment to more efficient models when possible. For example:
- Natural Gas Furnace - If you have a natural gas furnace that is more than 15 years old, it may be time to upgrade to a more efficient model. A new natural gas furnace could save you up to 20% in operating costs.
- Natural Gas Water Heater - Water heating can account for 15% to 25% of a home’s energy use. If your natural gas hot water heater is more than 10 years old, you may want to consider replacing it with a more efficient model.
- Move furniture away from windows. It’s warmer to sit near inside walls.
- Close your fireplace damper when not in use.
- Warm air rises, so use registers to direct warm airflow across the floor.
- Close off doors and vents in unused rooms to conserve heat within your home.
- During the winter season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to let warm sunlight in. (Reverse during the summer.)
- In the winter, close draperies and shades at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Wash and dry full loads. Washing one large load takes less energy than two small or medium loads.
- If you wash smaller loads, change the water level setting appropriately.
- Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible.
- Dry loads back-to-back to take advantage of the heated drum.
- Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
- Don’t over-dry clothes. Over-drying uses more energy (…and causes static cling).
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load. A clogged filter restricts air flow and reduces dryer performance.
- To reduce cooking time, first defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator.
- Place lids tightly on pans to speed cooking time.
- Keep the oven door closed while cooking to prevent heat loss. With each opening, the oven loses about 20% of its heat.
- Only preheat your oven if the recipe calls for it.
- Use glass or ceramic cookware in your oven. You can turn the temperature down about 25° F, and foods will cook just as quickly.
- When washing dishes by hand, use a stopper in the sink so water won’t run constantly.
- Only operate dishwashers when they are fully loaded.
- Skip rinsing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. If you do rinse, use cold water.
- Limit the "rinse hold" feature on your dishwasher. This setting uses up to seven gallons of hot water for each use.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Defrost refrigerators and freezers before ice buildup becomes ¼ inch thick. Frost makes your unit work harder and wastes energy.
- Lower your thermostat at night while sleeping.
- Layer blankets to keep warm.
- Quickly repair leaks.
- Install shower heads and faucets with water-flow restrictors.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120° F.
- Take quick showers instead of baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15 to 25 gallons of hot water for a bath but less than 10 gallons during a five-minute shower.
Close vents in unused rooms (but not more than 1/3 of the heating vents in the house).
Add insulation. Inadequate insulation in your attic could be draining as much as 30% to 50% of your home’s heat.