Do most of your household appliances operate on gas instead of electricity? If the answer’s yes, you are likely saving money as electricity rates are pretty high in Vancouver, Washington.
However, due to ongoing natural gas, heating oil, and other fuel crisis, gas bills are expected to rise by 54%.
Therefore, check the following essential tips to learn how to save on gas bills by lowering your gas consumption.
Practical Tips on How to Save Money on Your Gas Bills
Here are a few expert recommendations to save on gas bills this winter and all year round:
1. Get an Energy Audit
An energy audit helps determine the average energy consumption, how to reduce it and increase potential savings. It also helps reduce dependency on foreign energy and the spread of environmental pollution. So, performing an energy audit decreases gas usage, increases energy savings, and promotes greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s best to hire a professional to perform the energy audit, but you can save that amount by performing it yourself. They inspect your house to ensure no potential outside leaks. Create a checklist to ensure you don’t miss a spot and aid in energy efficiency upgrades.
After inspection, make an energy plan to estimate how much you spend on gas, expected gas bill, and budget for maintenance and repairs.
2. Check For Air Leaks & Blockage
When you are trying to maintain temperatures in the winter, the first thing you must ensure is that every outside area is blocked. That is because cold air seeps into or out of your house through a leaking place, disturbing the temperature homeostasis. This way, the HVAC system has to work double to heat and keep your home warm.
So, you need to check for air leaks and block any nook and cranny the heat can escape from. To secure the air leaks, use specialized can sprays to stop the air from inflowing through pipes. Also, install insulations around electrical outlets and weather strips around windows to prevent air leakage. Give special attention to your door and window frames as they are the primary cause of air leakage.
3. Use a High-Tech Thermostat
Install a high-tech smart thermostat to regulate your house temperature and adjust it without having to keep a close check. Some newly launched thermostats have a geofencing feature that allows them to learn when you leave or return home to change the temperature accordingly.
For example, if you are not at home, it automatically turns the heating system off to preserve energy. Moreover, you can adjust the HVAC system setting remotely. It also shows real-time energy consumption statistics to track how much energy has been consumed.
As the high-tech thermostat adjusts the temperature according to weather, your heating systems consume less energy.
4. Do Not Use Wood-Burning Fireplace
Currently, there are very few homes that still have real wood-burning fireplaces. Even though they are highly aesthetic, providing a rustic and homely charm to your home, they are ineffective at helping you save money on gas bills. It may feel that they generate heat, which is correct, but most of it escapes through the chimney and closing the vent is not an option.
Due to this, you end up using more gas energy than needed to heat your home and all the wood-burning also harms the planet. That is why, instead of using the wood fireplace, shift to an automatically operated fireplace.
5. Use a Water Heater Timer
A timer can let you program the heater to turn on or off at specific times, such as in the morning or when you wash dishes. This way, you don’t waste hot water and have enough available on demand.
As your water heater is not operating all the time, it is the perfect solution for reducing the gas bill, especially if your water heater is fixed outside your home. When the water heater is set outside the house, it is directly exposed to cold temperatures.
Therefore, it has to work extra to maintain the water’s hot temperature. But when you have a water heater timer installed, the water heater only has to heat the water once and not keep the temperature constant.
6. Upgrade the Heating System
Heating systems become less efficient with time, taking longer to heat up and provide the same amount of heat around the house. Moreover, it costs 50% more to repair the old heating system than install a new one. That is why, instead of spending money repairing your old heating system, upgrade and buy a new one.
A new and upgraded system not only saves money and heats the house efficiently and quickly, but it is also a sustainable option. An old-school heating system emits a vast amount of carbon into the atmosphere, causing global warming and adverse effects on health. So, if your heating system has reached its 15th birthday, it is time to give it a rest and upgrade to a new energy-efficient heating system.
7. Apply For a Natural Gas Rebate in Vancouver, Washington
Washington Gas has a rebate program for homeowners and residential customers with individually-metered accounts. Rebate is return or refund of paid bill amount, if the heating systems are energy-efficient, saving money on the total bill.
The rebate program applies to HVAC and water heaters. However, you are only eligible for the Washington gas rebate program if you use upgraded energy-saving central and water heating systems. So, you need to replace your old equipment with a new one to ensure it meets required energy-efficiency specifications.
If your household heating system is state of the art, you need to apply for the gas rebate as it is the best way to answer your queries about how to save on the gas bill. To apply for the natural gas rebate in Vancouver, WA, follow these steps:
- Call your gas provider
- Share your concession card or health care card details
- Ask your gas provider if you can apply for a gas rebate program
- If eligible, submit a request for the gas rebate program to apply to your account
- Receive confirmation on your rebate application
8. Reuse Generated Heat
You can reduce your gas bill by using already generated heat from other activities, such as cooking or showering. When you use already generated heat to warm your house, it takes the pressure off of your central heating system. Therefore, leave the door open and let the warmth spread around the house after cooking or showering.
In addition, you can stay in the kitchen or the room till it’s warm and shut down the central heating for that time to reduce your bill cost. This is how to save on gas bills this winter.
9. Install Thermal Curtains and Insulated Window Panels
If you want another tip on how to lower the gas bill, this will help you immensely. Invest in thermal curtains and insulated window panels. Thermal curtains have high-density foam that prevents the stored heat from leaving the room. Additionally, you get an extra layer that blocks the outside noise and lights from getting inside your room.
Don’t forget to insulate your windows using foam panels measured correctly, so they don’t allow the heat to leak through. This helps stop the warmth from getting out and prevents cold air from blowing in.
10. Take Shorter Showers
Despite how soothing the warm water feels in the winters, cutting down even three minutes off your daily shower helps reduce energy consumption. According to the Department of Energy, 20% of your gas bill charge is due to a water heating system.
Moreover, the medically recommended showering time ranges from 5 to 10 minutes. So, start spending less time showering to keep your skin hydrated and save money on gas and water bills.
11. Turn On Power Saving Mode
You can easily save energy and billing costs by lowering your heating system 7°-10°F from the standard heating setting for 8 hours a day, saving 10% from yearly energy costs. Additionally, set your heating system on low heating mode at night to reduce the gas bill.
So, instead of wearing t-shirts around the house, bundle up to use less heat energy in winter.
It is challenging to reduce your gas bill in winters as heating systems work overtime to keep a consistent temperature. But you don’t need to compromise your financial wellbeing only because you want maximum comfort in the frosty weather. That is why you need to follow these tips, as they perfectly show you how to save on your gas bill.
To learn more about reducing gas bills or changing your old central heating system for a new one, call Miller’s Heating & Air on 360-695-6500 or drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.