9 Ways to Save Money on Your Gas Bill This Summer
The current economic climate has been financially devastating for millions of families. In fact, some 26 million Americans have lost their jobs to COVID-19. With a significantly reduced income, most people are eager to cut costs wherever they can.
These nine tips will show you how to save money on your natural gas bill, keeping your costs as low as possible as we head into the warmer months.
1. Cook Outside
When you cook in your kitchen, not only are you potentially using gas to run the stove, but you will require more gas to power the air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature. Using your outside barbeque grill will reduce the amount of AC needed, and if you keep the lid closed as much as possible while cooking, your propane costs will also remain lower.
2. Consider a natural gas pool heater.
Many Arizona homes heat their pools with a gas heater, ensuring they can be used year-round. If you don’t currently heat your pool with gas, it’s worth considering when the time comes to replace the old one as it can save money on natural gas. Gas pool heaters not only heat water quickly but can be set to hold a specific temperature. Keeping the water temperature from fluctuating too widely will reduce energy waste.
3. Run your pool efficiently.
Make sure you keep your pool covered overnight and other times when it’s not in use. This can significantly minimize heat loss as well as prevent chemical loss and water evaporation. In addition, ensure your pool heating equipment is inspected once a year to keep it running at maximum efficiency.
Check with your pool service technician to determine the minimum number of hours required to run pool filtering and cleaning systems. During your inspection, your equipment will also be delimed—removal of the build-up of limescale, a whitish, difficult-to-remove crust, caused by excessive minerals in hard water.
4. Use your patio heater more efficiently.
Patio heaters are a wonderful addition to a backyard, and can significantly extend the time you are able to enjoy your outdoor patio. Natural gas patio heaters use radiant heat—warming objects instead of the surrounding air—so they are naturally energy efficient. However, an outdoor patio heater’s efficiency is affected by the wind, therefore should be installed in a sheltered, but well-ventilated area.
5. Use a programmable thermostat.
Play around with your thermostat to find a temperature that works. Perhaps you only need AC during the hottest part of the day, so you can do without in the morning. Do you need AC at night? If you can do without, turn it off. Work out of the house during the day? Make sure your thermostat is programmed to turn the AC off when the house is empty.
Consider that for every degree the thermostat is raised, 4% to 8% can be saved on cooling costs, so find the happy spot where you are comfortable, but you’re not blasting cold air 24/7!
6. When you need to buy new appliances, buy ENERGY STAR.
ENERGY STAR is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes energy efficiency. An ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner uses about 15% less energy than non-certified models.
7. Check your home’s insulation.
A drafty attic or room can leak your cool air and significantly add to your gas bill over the years. Check the seals around windows and doors—caulking and weather-stripping are the two most simple, inexpensive, and effective sealing techniques.
In addition, if ductwork passes through unheated areas of your home, such as your basement, a lack of insulation around the ductwork will impede your furnace’s ability to heat your home. The amount of insulation needed varies in the way it’s installed, so a home evaluation is a good idea.
8. Clean your air conditioning vents and units.
A clean air conditioning unit is far more efficient than a dirty one. At least a couple of times a year, take the time to check the air intake and vents and remove any debris buildup. Spray down the coils and fins, and routinely replace the filter as dirty filters block normal airflow causing your air conditioning unit to work harder. In addition, this will eliminate potential fire hazards.
9. Block the sun with blinds and drapes
Some carefully selected window treatments can prevent your house from heating up under the summer sun. Blinds and drapes can reduce heat gain by up to 45%.
Your gas bill can quickly add up when air conditioning units are running 24/7 in the long, hot summer days. These nine tips can help you save money on natural gas while you run your air conditioning through the warm months of summer.
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