If the Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast for this winter is to be believed, we can look forward to a pretty harsh winter this year. Fortunately, there are things you can do now to start preparing for more savings during the colder months. We’ve prepared several tips to help you save money on your gas bill so you can spend less time worrying about costs and more time doing the things you care about.
Install fresh air filters / clean air filters
According to the Department of Energy, replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15 percent. Most HVAC professionals recommend that you replace all air filters in your home at least once every 3 months. This is for the reason that when they become too clogged, it can force your furnace to work overtime trying to heat your home. You should also change air filters at least 4 times a year simply because it’s better for the air quality in your home.
Lowering your thermostat by just a few degrees can save you up to 10 percent on your monthly bill. Try turning your heat down to 70 or 68 degrees and bundling up with a sweater and socks to keep warm instead of relying solely on your furnace.
Air dry clothes / remove lint after every use of the dryer
It may not be feasible for everyone, but if you can, consider drying your clothes in the bathroom or living room instead of the dryer. If this isn’t possible, always make sure to empty the lint filter in your dryer after every single use. This makes sure that your dryer doesn’t have to work as hard to dry your clothes (and keeps you from having to run the dryer for another cycle).
Lower water heater thermostat
Turn the thermostat on your water heater down 10-20 degrees. Dropping your hot water heater by just 10 degrees can help you save from 6 to 10 percent on your energy bill. Gas water heaters already save households consistently more than electric water heaters, but every little bit can help you save money on your gas bill in the fall and winter months.
Insulate your windows and doors
A drafty home is an energy inefficient home. Drafts due to inadequately sealed windows and doors are almost always the biggest source of energy loss in a home. Especially if you own an older home or live in an older apartment building, windows and doors can be a huge factor in out of control heating costs. Use spray sealant or caulk to seal windows. For doors, invest in new weather stripping to keep cold, drafty air out. By addressing uncontrolled air leaks in your home, you can save anywhere between 10 and 20 percent on your monthly heating costs according to the Department of Energy.
Make sure vents aren’t covered
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised to find how easy it is to overlook covered vents as being a source of higher energy bills. Not only does making sure your vents are clear remove any threat of fire hazard but it also ensures that your home’s heating system doesn’t have to work any harder than necessary to heat your whole home.
Use cold water to wash your clothes.
Not only does using colder water help save you in heating costs, but it may also help your clothes last a little longer. Using warm or hot water to wash clothes can shrink or fade many types of clothing – and requires more energy. However, to stop the spread of germs, washing clothes with hot water is sometimes necessary. If you can, try to reduce the number of loads that require hot water per month.
Reverse ceiling fan rotation
Reversing the direction of your ceiling fan so that it travels in a clockwise motion makes the warm air close to the ceiling move downward. To do so, wait until the fan has stopped moving completely and check the fan’s motor housing for a switch. Once you flip the switch and turn the fan back on it should travel clockwise. You should feel no air flow when standing below your ceiling fan while it’s turned on if you’ve done this correctly. If you have a different model of ceiling fan, Del Mar fans and lighting has a great tutorial to walk you through how to change your ceiling fan’s direction and get you saving up to 15 percent on your bill.
Open curtains and let the sun shine in!
What better way to heat your home than to use a source that’s 100% free? Open the curtains and blinds to let the sun keep you and your family cozy and warm! And of course, remember to close them at night to help seal in the warmth from the day and keep the freezing cold out.
Did you already know about some of these tips? Which ones have you tried? If you’re looking for even more savings on your gas bill this winter, check out our rates page and call or click to enroll in one of our variable rate plans today.