Here are some important steps that you can take in order to cut down on the amount of energy used and lower your utility bills when heating your home.
1. Turn down the thermostat to 68-degrees. In fact, for each degree heat is lowered when you are in the 60-70 range, you are saving up to 5% on your heating costs. Make sure you wear warm clothes such as a sweater and lower the thermostat to sixty-eight degrees during the days and evenings. This should be done only if your health permits it. Set the thermostat to 55 degrees at night or when you are leaving the house for a long period of time. This will help you save up to 20% on your energy bills. Note: heat pumps need to be set back 2-degrees to avoid unneeded use of backup strip heating.
2. Clean or replace the filters of your furnace in a timely manner. Dirty filters will restrict the airflow which will increase the use of energy. You also need a furnace tune-up at the appropriate moment. Keep your furnace lubricated, well-adjusted, and clean to reduce energy usage and save up to five percent on heating costs every month.
3. Reduce the hot water temperature. Make sure you reduce the water heater to normal setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit. You save up to 11% on your water heating costs with this adjustment.
4. Seal all the leaks. Look for the areas where there are pipes, electrical conduits, and vents that go through the wall, floor or ceiling. Check the pipes inside a closet, under the kitchen sink, and bathroom, etc. If you notice a gap where the pipes and vents go through the wall, seal it immediately. You can buy products to close larger gaps from your hardware store.
5. If you have old gas appliances, consider replacing them with the latest Energy Star equipment.
Contact your natural gas utility in town or visit their website for additional details, rebates, and incentives.