Top 10 consumer tips for reducing gas bills

Source: Minnesota Department of Commerce Online
Section: Energy Info
Date: 10-27-2005

The simplest way to lower your natural gas bills is to use less gas. Following are the top ten recommendations from the Department of Commerce, Energy Information Center on how to reduce heating costs throughout the winter.

  1. Turn down your thermostat 5 to 10 degrees while you are away or asleep. Every degree above 68 degrees adds about 3 percent to your heating bill.
  2. Turn down your water heater temperature to 120 degrees or 125 degrees.
  3. Place window film on the interior of leaky or drafty windows.
  4. Have your furnace and water heater professionally cleaned and inspected to make sure they work efficiently and safely. Change furnace filters monthly.
  5. Replace your old furnace with a new, efficient model. Look for the Energy Star label on all new home appliances.
  6. Caulk and weatherstrip around doors and windows.
  7. Vacuum heat registers and return air vents regularly. If you have hot water heat, vacuum radiators or baseboard heaters. Make sure furniture and draperies do not block the heat flow.
  8. Make use of solar heat by keeping curtains open when the sum is shining.
  9. Add more attic insulation, but only after sealing all attic bypasses. Bypasses leak warm, moist air into your attic, reducing the value of insulation. An insulation value of R-38 is recommended for attics.
  10. Call your utility about having a home energy audit, which will pinpoint ways to weatherize your home to make it more energy efficient.

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