When the temperatures drop, the dial on our thermostats goes up. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks that you can use to lower your gas bills without feeling left out in the cold.
Further, with unemployment still at historic highs due to COVID-19, many people are feeling uneasy about their financial situation. With fall and winter rapidly approaching, it’s important to find ways to reduce your monthly gas bill.
1. Turn Down the Heat—Stat!
For every one degree you lower your thermostat over 24 hours, you save up to 3 percent on your heating bill, which can result in some measurable savings. Hoffner highly recommends you hire an HVAC professional to install a programmable thermostat, which will help you regulate and turn down the heat for you.
2. Keep the Heat and Seal Any Drafts
As simple as it sounds, if your furnace is running, be mindful to keep your windows and doors shut. Not only will you reduce the amount of heat that might escape, but you’ll also trap and contain the heat to designated areas of your house.
Additionally, ensure heat isn’t escaping through window or door frames. If you notice any drafts, caulking and foam strips can be used to fill the gaps, which is an easy solution that offers immediate results.
In addition, remember to keep the flue of your fireplace closed when it’s not being used. By closing the flue, you’ll keep the cold air out and minimize your chances of getting the flu at the same time.
3. Use the Sun’s Rays to Heat Your Home
A natural way to lower monthly heating bills is to use the friendly rays of the sun. By opening up your curtains and blinds in the morning, you’ll let the sun’s energy heat up your house naturally. However, be cognizant to close those curtains and blinds as soon as the sun retires for the day.
4. Circulate the Air
Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer. Most fans come with two settings to control airflow. Check your fan for its winter setting (rotating clockwise to pull cool air upwards and keep warm air on the ground level).
5. Insulate Your Water Heater, Not Just Your Home
When it comes to insulation, most people might think about adding more padding to their attics, lofts, and walls. However, professionals are also quick to point out that buying an insulated blanket for your hot water tank can result in some additional savings.
According to an article on Energy.gov, insulating your hot water tank can reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent, which will save you approximately seven to 16 percent in water heating costs. As an added bonus, the article notes that insulation jackets can be purchased for around $20, which is sure to make energy savers very happy.
6. Make the Call When It Turns Fall
Before firing up the furnace, you’ll want to call an HVAC professional to get your equipment inspected and serviced for wintertime peace of mind. Yearly professional maintenance ensures that your energy system is working both efficiently and effectively and can help eliminate or stave off future issues with your furnace.
Thus, it’s important to ask the company exactly what comes with the maintenance job, as what’s included in a service call will vary from company to company. In addition, be sure to indicate the make, model and age of your furnace so that you can get better quotes before selecting which HVAC company to hire.
7. The Hard Truth: A Furnace Won’t Last Forever
Sadly, even routine maintenance will only go so far, and most furnaces won’t last forever. In this case, it’s time to consult an HVAC expert who will assess your home’s specific needs.
When replacing an old unit, it’s important to replace it with a new, energy-efficient model. Not only are newer, more energy-efficient furnaces safer and more reliable, they also can significantly reduce your natural gas consumption, which will become evident in future bills.
Recently, the Department of Energy stated that “a high-efficiency furnace can dramatically reduce utility bills by 50 percent. If your existing furnace operates at 70 percent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) and you replace it with a 95 percent efficiency model, this represents an increase in the energy efficiency of over 26 percent. If your heating bill averages $100 a month, there is a potential cost savings of $312 annually.”
Who to Turn to For Your HVAC Needs
From programmable thermostats to jackets for your hot water tank, people are constantly searching for ways to save on their gas bills that won’t leave them in the cold. While there are several things that homeowners can do to see a reduction in savings during the winter months, the most important step is knowing which HVAC company to trust when servicing your current furnace or upgrading to a new, energy-efficient model.
Since 2017, Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning has been serving the greater Pittsburgh area with honest, professional and reliable services for both commercial and residential customers. With more than 35 years of experience as a team, this family-owned and operated business has experience in everything from HVAC repairs to complete new system builds for both residential and light-commercial facilities.
In addition, the team at Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning always offers competitive pricing as well as an additional company warranty that they combine with the manufacturer’s warranty. Likewise, Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning prides itself on providing a quick turnaround on any job so that you and your family can be comfortable in your home.
To learn more about what Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning can do for you, call (412) 376-9080 or email us at Chad@HoffnerHeatingandAir.com.