Turn Down Your Thermostat. You can save as much as 3% for each degree that you turn your thermostat down during the winter. If you can be comfortable with, and your health permits, a slightly cooler home, lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees and save even more. Don’t forget to turn down your thermostat when you are not home and at night when you go to bed.
Take Care of Your Furnace. Have your furnace cleaned and checked out every year to keep it running at peak performance. Clean and replace the air filter on your furnace regularly. A dirty or clogged filter will use more energy and heat more slowly.
Let the Heat Circulate. Check your furniture, curtains and drapes and area rugs to make sure they are not blocking heat registers and vents. If you have a ceiling fan, use it to push the warm air down from the ceiling.
Keep the Cold Out. Close your blinds or drapes when it gets dark outside to help cut heat loss through your windows at night. If your blinds or drapes don’t completely cover your windows, consider putting up plastic sheeting for insulation day and night.
Cook Smart. If you cook with gas, adjust the flame to fit your pans. Opening the oven door unnecessarily can cause a drop of up to 50 degrees in the oven temperature, so don’t open the oven door unless you have to.
Turn Down the Tank. You can reduce your energy consumption by turning your hot water tank down to 120 degrees. For every 10 degree reduction in temperature, you can save between 3% and 5% on your water heating costs. Insulating your hot water pipes and installing a water heater insulation blanket on your tank will also help reduce your natural gas consumption and save you money.
Think Before You Wash and Dry Clothes. Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and use the cold water setting on your washer. If you have to wash a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting. Consider using a clothes rack or indoor clothes line to dry clothes. If you do use your dryer, be sure to clean the lint screen in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation for more efficient clothes drying and to prevent fire hazards.Over the long term, energy efficiency improvements to your home can reduce your natural gas usage and save you money. Your gas utility offers a number of programs that can help you make your home or business more energy efficient. For more information, visit www.nhsaves.com or contact your gas utility directly.