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Blessed With Gas Heat, Yet Cursed With High Utility Bills? Proactive Ways To Slash Heating Bills & Retain Comfort

by Wallace Gonzales

For residents across much of the United States, the arrival of winter often means the arrival of higher utility bills as the heating season begins. In more than half of these homes, according to information supplied by the American Gas Association, the main heating appliance is fueled by gas. If you enjoy the warmth and comfort of gas heat, but would like to improve the efficiency of your heating system while paring down the bill, the following tips can help.

Invest In a Programmable Thermostat

If you have been holding out on investing in a good programmable thermostat for your gas furnace, statistics show that using these devices can help improve the efficiency of your gas furnace. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using a programmable thermostat to reduce the home's temperature by just seven to ten degrees for as little as eight hours per day can slash annual heating (and cooling) costs by as much as ten percent. To maximize this potential, consider programming the thermostat based on your family's schedule so that it will lower the temperature in the home whenever family members are scheduled to be at work or school and again at night, while they are sleeping.

Minimize the Heat Loss

Heating air and then letting it escape the envelope of the home wastes heating fuel and increases monthly heating bills. Homeowners who want to cut heating bills can minimize this heat loss by choosing to make major upgrades to their home such as installing insulation with higher R-values or replacing their current heating system with a newer, more efficient model. Even if there is no room in the budget for this type of upgrade, home owners can still make small, less expensive improvements that really add up, such as:

  • investing in insulated window coverings or using plastic sheeting to minimize heat loss around drafty windows
  • investing in pre-made draft stoppers to keep heated air from seeping out under entry and exit doors (or using tube socks or the legs of tights filled with rice or sand)
  • use rugs liberally to add insulation value to cold floors and improve the comfort level of the home
  • open drapes to allow sunshine to warm the interior of the home on sunny days

A Clean System is an Efficient System

Keeping heating components clean and dust-free helps them run at higher levels of efficiency, reducing the amount of expensive fuel they consume. Homeowners should utilize a regular cleaning regimen for their furnaces that includes frequent filter changes. In addition, ensuring that your furnace is serviced regularly by a competent heating repair service is also important for maintaining the highest level of efficiency and realizing maximum savings on your heating bills. Click here for information on heating repair.