Gas Conservation Tips

There are several easy ways to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible. Review the checklist below to find out how you can save on your gas bills this heating season.

Tighten Up Your Home

  • Apply caulking compound or similar material where small holes or cracks can allow warm air may seep out and cold air to seep in.
  • Caulk where dryer vents and fan covers pass through the wall.
  • Caulk where plumbing pipes and telephone wires enter the house.
  • Caulk where any two different outside materials meet.
  • Caulk where the fireplace chimney meets the siding.
  • Stop drafts around electric light switches and wall outlets with inexpensive styrofoam or foam rubber gaskets that fit behind the cover plates.
  • Seal air leaks into the attic by weather stripping around edges of the attic door to reduce warm air leaking into the attic from the rest of your home.
  • Insulate the back of the attic door (or hatch) with a piece of fiberglass or rigid board insulation.

Furnaces & Boilers

  • Make an appointment with a qualified heating contractor or maintenance person to clean and inspect your furnace or boiler.
  • Change or clean your furnace filter monthly throughout the heating season.
  • Vacuum around furnace motor and blower fan regularly, but before you begin, turn off the furnace electric-disconnect switch.
  • Keep heat registers, cold air return grills and radiators clear of furniture, carpeting, drapes, or any other items that may block them.
  • Close heat registers in unused rooms.

Thermostats

  • Install an automatic set-back thermostat so that you can program a lower temperature for during the day when you are at work.
  • Set your thermostat for 68 degrees during the day and slightly lower at night.
  • If you’ll be away from home for a week or more during the heating season, turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees before you leave.

Fireplaces

  • Close the damper after a fire has completely gone out in your fireplace, and always when the fireplace is not in use. If you don’t close the damper, heat will be drawn up the chimney.
  • Install a glass fireplace enclosure which will allow you to enjoy a fire with minimal heat loss.

Hot Water Usage

  • Set the water temperature thermostat of your water heater to 120 degrees or to the “low” setting.
  • Turn down your water heater temperature if you are going to be away for a long period of time.
  • Insulate the water heater tank with an insulation blanket if the outside of the heater is warm to the touch. Be careful not to restrict the flow of dilution air to a gas water heater’s draft diverter or restrict the flow of air to the burner. Newer units are usually well-insulated already.
  • Drain a half-bucket of water from the bottom of your water heater every few months to remove impurities, rust, and sludge that can collect at the bottom.
  • Insulate hot water pipes to reduce heat loss, avoid freezing pipes, and help the water heater operate with less effort.
  • Tighten or plug leaking joints in hot water pipes.
  • Replace or repair leaking valves.
  • Install a low-flow shower head.
  • Install a flow restrictor, which is slightly different from a low-flow shower head. A flow restrictor will decrease the amount of water flowing through the tap and save you energy.

Windows and Doors

  • Use caulking around windows and doors to prevent air leakage.
  • Install weather stripping on windows and doors where you feel a cold draft.
  • Install insulating window shades on windows that still feel drafty.
  • If needed, use draft blockers under doors and windows.
  • Close draperies at night to keep heat in and cold air out.
  • Repair or replace cracked or broken window panes.
  • Use the setting for the proper amount of water for the size load you are washing in your clothes washer.
  • If you need to replace any major appliance, always buy an energy-efficient model according to the Energy Guide Label that is attached to it.