Save the environment and your pocket
4 TIPS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT AND YOUR POCKET
1-Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees when you’re home and 65 degrees when you’re not. By lowering your thermostat 10-15% for eight hours a day, you can save up to 10% a year on your heating costs. Installing a programmable thermostat can help you automatically control your usage. Add on extra layers of clothing to keep warm.
2-Change your air filters monthly. A dirty filter restricts airflow and can increase the operating cost of your furnace by as much as 10%. A good reminder is to change the filter each time you receive your natural gas bill.
3-Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having us do annual check-ups (ENERGY STAR).
• Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
• Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
• Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increase the amount of electricity you use.
• Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
• Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
• Check all gas connections, gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger. Improperly operating gas connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation. Either can cause the equipment to operate less safely and efficiently.
4-Consider installing ENERGY STAR-qualified heating and cooling equipment. Replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with new, energy-efficient models is a great start. But to make sure that you get the best performance, the new equipment must be properly installed. In fact, improper installation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30% costing you more on your utility bills and possibly shortening the equipment’s life.
The recent stretch of extremely cold temperatures caused natural gas consumption to increase significantly in both the residential and commercial sectors. According to the Energy Information Administration, consumption in those sectors rose nearly 28% for the week ending January 22, over the previous week. Natural gas in storage is now 13% below the five-year average. The combination of these factors resulted in a significant increase in natural gas prices for February says CenterPoint. The utility corporation that sells natural gas in six states has a good resource to help you compare your gas usage to previous months: the “Reading Your Bill” page.