Heating Headache: How to Lower Your Gas Bill

Jim Bauer Home Maintenance and Repair

Winter is coming, and with it comes the increase in your gas bill for heating your home. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to lower your gas bill. Here are 10 easy ways to make a difference.

Use the Sun’s Heat

The sun is a great source of natural heat and can help take the load off the furnace. On sunny winter days, open the curtains and let the sun shine in.

Hang Insulating Drapes

Windows provide warmth from the sun during the day, but they lose heat the rest of the time. Once the sun goes down, close the drapes. To prevent even more heat loss through your windows, hang insulating drapes. They will not only prevent heat loss in the winter but will also keep your home cooler in the summer.

Make Sure You’re Not Leaking Heat

On a cold day, feel around all your windows and doors to see if any cold air is coming through. Use caulking and weather stripping to seal any leaks.

RELATED: Fix Energy Robbing Leaks

Turn Down the Thermostat

It may seem like the simplest thing to do, yet so many people overlook it. You can lower your gas bill by turning down the thermostat, especially at night when you’re asleep and during the day when you’re not home. If you get cold easily, consider putting on a sweater and socks, snuggling up in a blanket, or drinking something hot rather than turning up the heat.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Turning down the heat when you don’t need it is an effective way to lower your gas bill—if you remember to do it. Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat that will allow you to automatically set different temperatures for different times and days. You could save even more by installing a smart thermostat. In addition to being programmable, smart thermostats can be controlled by your phone and offer other advanced features that could help save on your heating bill. Your utility company may offer a rebate on a thermostat upgrade, and you’ll likely recoup the rest of the expense quickly as you start saving on your monthly bill.

Replace your Furnace Filter

You can save money on heating by regularly replacing your furnace filter. Your furnace has to work harder to push air through a dirty filter, driving up your heating bill.

Turn Down the Water Heater

Not all your heating costs come from the furnace. To help lower your gas bill, try during down the temperature on your water heater—from say 140 degrees to 120 degrees. Experiment and see how low you can make the temperature while still getting the hot water you need. Wrapping your water heater in insulation will help it retain heat longer.

Use the Fireplace

If your home has a fireplace, use it! Lighting a fire in the fireplace isn’t just a great way to set the mood on a cold winter’s evening—it’s also a great way to provide heat and lower your gas bill.

Cook with the Oven

During the summer, you may have gotten used to avoiding using the oven to help keep your house cool. Winter is a great time to break that habit! Since you have to make dinner anyway, find more recipes that use the oven, which will radiate heat into your home. Running the dishwasher is another way to warm your home.

Take a Shower

If you’re feeling cold, try taking a shower instead of turning up the heat. A hot shower will make you feel warm for a long time, and you can open the bathroom door to let the warm air circulate.

With winter almost upon us, it’s important to start thinking about how to lower your gas bill. Set aside a weekend to do some of these projects, and you’ll be sitting pretty by the time the cold weather rolls around.

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