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how to reduce gas bill, how to save on gas bill

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.

how to reduce gas bill, how to save on gas bill

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.

High-Tech Thermostat

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.

Upgrade the 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.

 

air conditioning repair vancouver wa

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.

To Conclude

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 info@millersheating.com.

45 thoughts on “6 Toxic Air Conditioning Smells and What They Mean

  1. We have a portable air conditioner until 12 BTU when it’s on it draws the smell of creditor in the house.. we have a wood forced air furnace.
    How ca we solve the problem

    Many thanks

    Jen

    1. Hi Jen,

      Unfortunately, we do not service portable AC units. We recommend contacting an HVAC contractor in your area who does.

    1. Hi Dee,

      We actually don’t work on window AC units. We recommend calling other HVAC companies in your area to see who does.

  2. I have an odor in my home that smells like sulfur and sometimes the odor is like a ginger with onion smell, cause at times it causes my eyes to burn, occasionally nose runs a little, it also makes me cough every now and then. The smell gets really bad when I run my hvac. It’s a central unit. Some when I run my hot water seems like it’s coming through my drains,had my water company to check things out it’s not the problem.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Your HVAC system smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur most likely indicates a natural gas leak. Although on its own, natural gas is odorless, most utility providers add the aroma to alert people of a dangerous leak. Don’t take this lightly. If you smell a rotten-egg-like odor in your home, natural gas is likely the culprit, and immediate inspection is a must. While low level exposure is not hazardous to your health, high levels reduce oxygen in the blood, and can lead to loss of consciousness and death. Gas is also highly flammable and explosive, resulting in dozens of deaths each year. If you notice this smell, open the windows to your home right away, get out of the house immediately, then call the gas company.

    1. Hi Mick,

      An air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      We do not work on window ACs. However, if it is smelling like gas we recommend that you turn it off to protect your healthy until you have a professional come out to inspect it.

    2. My ac smelt like a gassy smell chemical of some sort i called matenace and told them i was smelling something… He said nothing he can do tonight just shut it off, Be there by 8am. i felt kinda disoriented..my friend shared this ad to me and it helped me feel so much better you really have the answers and i thank you so much !! Marie Dillon youngstown ohio….. T Y.

      1. Hi Marie,

        We are glad you found this article helpful and hope maintenance was able to fix the situation for you. If you do smell gas again, turn off your HVAC system in order to protect your health until a professional can look at it.

  3. My home smells like a car or vehicle with a really bad exhaust leak. Its really strong like oil or fuel burning thru an exhaust leak on a vehicle. What could it be??

    1. Hi Shelly,

      Even in HVAC systems not powered by gas, exhaust fumes can still result if fluids leak from essential components. To avoid a dangerous situation, have your system professionally assessed. Burning oil and other fluids can release large amounts of toxic gases, different in chemical makeup than in natural, liquid form. These particulates can be hazardous to your health, depleting oxygen and resulting in an array of health issues.

    2. My AC unit smells like the tip of a match. The red part. Not sure why or what but is this ok to run until the smell burns off? Or will it?

      1. Hi Nickie,

        Is this the first time using your unit in a while? If so, we recommend letting it run for 20-30 minutes to see if the smell goes away. If it does go away, it probably was dust on your unit burning off. However if the smell continues please contact your local HVAC company so a professional technician can assess your system. If you are in the Vancouver, WA or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help if the smell persists!

    1. When you say it smells moth balls do you mean that it smells moldy or musty? If so, an air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

      1. Hi Sandy May, Sounds like you have a similar situation to Lukie. When you say it smells moth balls do you mean that it smells moldy or musty? If so, an air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

  4. Hello,
    For well over (3) months, there has been a foul odor ( I would describe as a dead animal) coming from my bedroom AC vent. It was strongest (3) mos ago, for the first (2) days it was unbearable. The latter few mos, it would come and go. I have removed the vent and inspected for animals but found nothing? Oddly, even at its strongest, it is unnoticeable once the AC is running? Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. That is an unusual situation. Normally when our customers smell something like that there is a dead animal within the duct work. Where do you live? If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we can have one of our technicians come out to inspect your system.

  5. Hi
    There is a odor coming from my Air Conditioner Unit, that smells like musty or someone’s butt that hasn’t washed! I have been smelling it for at least a week or more! I am a asthmatic it causes me to cough and I feel nauseous at times. How do I solve this problem! Upon turning it off I looked inside I do see mold spots.

    1. An air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. It’s also important to keep up on annual maintenances of your system in order to keep the indoor and outdoor units clean of mold and dirt.

  6. There is like a rubber smell or electrical coming from the vent. Was checked and nothing was found

    1. Electrical odors could indicate a mechanical problem with your AC fan or compressor, wiring issues, or electrical component failure. Made with a variety of metals and chemicals, prolonged exposure to these fumes is not healthy. The first few times the unit kicks on, it may emit a burning odor that can smell electrical and dusty, give it 20 to 30 minutes and see if the smell dissipates. If it does, it probably was just the dust burning off. If it continues, contact a professional HVAC technician to check out the problem and make repairs. An electrical odor typically is a problem within the motor or the wiring. Attempting to fix either of these items can result in severe injuries.

  7. We had a new central air unit and furnace installed today. I keep smelling something. Its aerosol type smell. Kind of like spray paint.

    1. Hi Patti,

      I would recommend calling the HVAC company that installed your new central air and furnace and explain what you are smelling. Since you just had it installed, it should be free for them to come out and make sure everything is ok with your system.

    2. That is exactly what I smell! We just had it replaced about an hour ago and the smell is making me extremely nauseous ?

  8. I have had a gas smell for several months. Called gas person in February. It ended up being my gas stove/oven per the gas company. Now that the air conditioner on, I still smell a gas smell or paint thinner and I hear an airy sound as well. Have not located the source of the airy sound. Gas people said that I am hearing the gas travel up the wall. Tested; no gas indicated. Called heating/air to do maintenance and to check as well. New roofing in the community. Could this be it. Can smell back draft from neighbor’s vehicle. Which is the problem or all?

    1. Hi JJ,

      When the HVAC company came out to do the maintenance, what did they have to say about the gas smell and airy sound that you have been hearing?

      1. They said it was the upstairs neighbor’s air conditioner. As of this week, the gas people found out that the gas smell was the gas meter and fumes from a stove that I had not cooked on in a month. I still have the air sound. Do you think it is air from a pipe that needs fixing or insulation or something stuck in the vent?

        1. It’s difficult to determine the exact cause of the air sound without investigating it in person, but I did speak to a technician and they think insulation would help.

  9. my new 4 ton heat pump began emitting a strong metallic like odor, like aluminum in ac mode. it doesn’t smell at all in heat mode. my evap coil is aluminum. is that what i’m smelling? my old unit had copper coil and i smelled nothing.

    1. Hi James,

      I checked with one of our service technicians. He said that normally that type of smell is emitted during heating mode. Your unit’s indoor coil may be leaking refrigerant, which can give off a metallic smell. We recommend having the company who installed your heat pump come out to take a look. If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help!

  10. Hi, my air conditioner had recently started to leak water, at first it was small leaks, but then in day 2 the leaks got more severe, to the point where at certain points it was dripping water, i woke up today to a small puddle on the floor under the ac unit (split). There werent any odors inside the room, but i noticed when i smelled the area of the floor where the puddle had been that it smelled like chemicals, and the puddle had a bit of a pinkish hue to it, although otherwise i have not seen the pink hue. The AC still cools as normal, but i have refrained from using it after that. What could that smell be? and is it leaking water or something else.

    1. Hi Maiz,

      I spoke with one of our service technicians. He said that it sounds like water is leaking from your system either because a condensate line is clogged or the copper line isn’t insulated and it’s dripping from there. You would need to get a service technician out to look at your equipment in order to determine the cause of the smell and to stop the water from continuing to leak. If you are in the Vancouver, WA or North Portland area we would be happy to help by sending a technician out to take a look.

  11. james cox on july 10 wrote that his 4 ton aluminum coil ac gave off an aluminum smell. my new aluminum coil 4 ton carrier heat pump does the exact same thing. metallic smell in ac, no smell in heat. my house cools really fast and i’ve had this unit for a year with no recharges. what’s going on here? just hypersensitive to aluminum sell?

    1. Hi Adriaan,

      It sounds like your system is running well and most likely doesn’t have a leak. I spoke with our Service Manager and he thought it might not even be the coil causing the smell. Often times IAQ products emit ozone which can smell metallic. Do you have any IAQ products as a part of your HVAC system? In order to further diagnose the issue, we would recommend having an HVAC company come out to take a look at it. It’s difficult to fully determine the cause of the smell without being onsite.

  12. We have 1-yr old central AC unit. It emits smell when the fan is constantly on and AC is off. When the AC turns on the smell gradually disappears. When the temperature drops to the needed one, the AC turns off and the smell reappears again. The smell is quite strong. Not the mold or musty for sure. And not the rotten eggs either. Some sort of “technical” smell. There is no smell when the fan is constantly on and the unit in the heating mode. The reason of keeping the fan constantly on during the air-conditioning hours is to prevent building mold inside the system.

    1. Hi Vlad,

      Could you explain the “technical” smell in a little more detail? Is it an electrical smell? If it is an electrical smell, it could mean you have a mechanical problem with your AC fan or compressor, wiring issues or electrical component failure. Exposure to this smell/fumes can be very unhealthy. We recommend having a local trained HVAC technician come out to your home and inspect your unit. If you are located in Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR (our service area) we would be happy to send someone out.

      1. Thanks for reply. The smell is vaguely comparable with the smell of burning transformer coils, but not exactly. I know the smell of burning transformer very well. It’s different. The same smell appeared in my previous house from AC unit after living there for 10 years. A year later I moved. And now the same smell at the new place from a brand new AC unit. Amazing. I’m going to ask the guy who installed it to drop by and chek the unit when the pandemic is over.

  13. There is a paint thinner smell coming from my AC vents in my apartment. I called the manager, but her response was not promising. Is it safe to stay in my apartment?

    1. Hi Meghan,

      We would recommend getting a professional HVAC technician out to asses your system right away. Your AC does use an assortment of chemicals in order to run; it sounds like your AC could be malfunctioning (hence the smell) and needing repair. If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help! Our phone number is 360-695-6500.

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