Save on natural gas bill

8 Quick Tips to Reduce Your Winter Natural Gas Costs

Comparing natural gas plans and shopping gas rates is a great way to save money.

It’s a smart idea to make a habit of looking for cheaper gas rates every year before your gas contract expires. While switching natural gas providers and reducing your gas rate may make the biggest impact, that’s not the only way to save money on your natural gas bill.

Even if you’ve got the best rates in town, you can still cut your gas bill by practicing some conservation habits. The best way for you to have the lowest bills each month is with a combination of choosing the best gas rate plan for your lifestyle and practicing smarter usage in your home every day.

These ideas might seem small, but the savings can add up to hundreds of dollars each year.

1. Lower Your Thermostat

This might seem like basic advice, but lowering your thermostat by only three or four degrees during colder months can cut your natural gas bill by up to 10 percent. And really, do you need to keep the house warm enough to wear shorts in the middle of winter?

2. Love Your Winter Wear

Get some great thick socks or fluffy slippers and wear them all the time indoors. Invest in a fantastic sweater to wear around the house. By making a habit of using winter wear, you’ll be stylish at the same time you’re saving money.

3. Check for Leaks

It’s easy for heat to leak out of the smallest crack around windows and doors. Light a candle and move it around all the openings in your home. If the smoke stops rising and goes horizontal toward a door or window, you’ve found a spot where heat is leaking out. Use a caulk gun or secure your weatherstripping to plug up those leaks and stop allowing heat to sneak out of your home.

4. Use Those Drapes

Allow the sunshine to help warm your home during winter days by opening your drapes. Sunny days can add significant heat to rooms with uncovered windows. Once it gets dark, close the drapes to keep the heat inside.

5. Call a Pro

Call an HVAC specialist once a year to give your heating system a complete check-up. The more efficiently your system is running, the more money you’ll save on natural gas.

6. Go High Tech

Invest in a new programmable thermostat. New ones range in price from under $100 to $250, and they’ll save you money year after year. Smart thermostats allow you to program changes in your home temperature based on your schedule.

Gone to work? Turn the heat down a few degrees. Program your thermostat to raise the temperature a few minutes before you’re due to come home, so you’ll arrive at a warm and toasty house. Instead of spending money on heating an empty house, you’ll keep it at minimum until you’re actually home to enjoy it.

Many new smart thermostats are not only programmable, but also adjustable from an app on your smart phone. If your schedule changes, then you are able to control the temperature in your home from anywhere. Some natural gas suppliers offer plans that are bundled with these smart thermostats.

7. Don’t Be in Hot Water

A lot of water heaters come with a set temperature of around 140 degrees, which provides a shower that needs a lot of cold water mixed in to make it comfortable for humans. Why heat the water up just to have to cool it down again? Turn the dial down to 120 degrees, and you’ll have a shower that’s already comfortable while saving money when it’s heated up.

8. Invisible Savings

Cut down heat loss throughout your home by adding a layer of insulation on all your windows. Add a layer of plastic over the glass to create an insulating pocket of air between the two layers. You can find inexpensive kits to insulate windows at any big box store for just a few dollars, but the results can be savings of up to 15 percent of your natural gas bill.

Each small change made around your home will make a tiny difference in your natural gas bill, but by making multiple changes, you can save hundreds of dollars with very little effort.