Replacing your old gas-guzzling heating system with a modern, energy efficient furnace is not the only way to save on energy costs. Here are some inexpensive ways to lower your energy bills and reduce the energy that your house uses.
1) Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. For each degree within the 60-70 degree range you lower your thermostat, you can save upwards of 5% on your heating bill. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees whenever possible and add a warm layer of clothing, such as a sweater. You should set the thermostat to 55 degrees or turn it off when you will be away from home or at night. This can save you between 5% and 20% on your heating bills.
2) Clean or replace your furnace filters at recommended intervals. Clogged and dirty filters reduce airflow and increase your energy usage. Also, “tune-up” your furnace. When your furnace is adjusted properly, lubricated, and clean, it will use less energy. This can save you 5% on your heating costs.
3) Decrease your hot water temperature. Your water heater should be set to “normal” or 120 degrees Fahrenheit, unless other appliances in your home require a higher temperature. You can save up to 11% on your costs of heating water.
4) Seal air leaks. Use caulk to seal around doors and windows. Check for leaks in places, such as electrical outlets, pipes, or vents that go through the floor, wall, or ceiling. Inspect under the sinks, inside the bathroom, pipes in closets, etc., where drafts are likely to occur. If you find a crack or gap where a vent or pipe exits the wall, seal around the opening. Caulk is best for small gaps. Your local hardware store can make recommendations for products to use on larger gaps.
5) Replace old gas appliances with energy efficient, ENERGY STAR® furnaces or water heaters.
Visit the website for your local gas company or give them a call to find out about incentives, rebates, or other ideas to save money on your heating costs.