Energy Saving Tips

(en español)

Save energy spelled out in caulking.

Are you looking for ways to save money?

Lowering your energy bills and conserving energy are a great place to start. Be a smarter energy user by choosing natural gas to help you reduce your energy costs while protecting the environment.

You can also find ways to save energy and money with some of the energy saving tips below. Many of these tips are do-it-yourself with minimal costs and maximum results.

Download the Lots of Ways To Save brochure for additional ways to save energy and money.

Download the Home Weatherization brochure for more practical techniques to weatherize your home that will save you money on utility bills, reduce energy consumption, and keep you comfortable all year long.

Water Heating

  • Set your water heater thermostat at the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficient hot water. For most households, 120°F water is fine (usually about mid-way between "medium" and "low" settings). If you have a dishwasher, check to see if you can use 120°F water. Follow the manufacturer's directions.
  • Most water heaters last 10-15 years. Doing research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs. Consider replacing it with a new gas water heater that has an Energy Factor (EF) rating of .62 or better.

Cooking

  • Place lids tightly on pans to speed up cooking time.
  • Don't preheat your gas oven if you don't have to. If you're baking breads and cakes, pre-heating your oven may be necessary, but for most foods like casseroles and broiled items, pre-heating isn't necessary.

Clothes Dryer

  • Look for a clothes dryer with a moisture sensor feature that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry.
  • Read garment and fabric care labels for proper settings.
  • Clean the lint filter after each use. A clogged lint trap will reduce air-flow and dryer performance, driving up your energy usage.
  • Drying full, but not oversized loads is more energy efficient than drying smaller loads or overloading the machine.
  • Do not open the dryer door unnecessarily.
  • The no-heat cycle can be used to plump pillows, refresh stored items, and remove lint or dust from drapes.

Home Heating

  • Cut annual heating bills by as much as 10 percent per year by turning your thermostat back 10 percent to 15 percent for eight hours per day.
  • Kitchens are particularly vulnerable to excessive warming, especially from the extra heat generated by cooking. Adjust the kitchen vents, if you have them, until the room is comfortable.
  • Try adjusting upstairs vents in a two-story home to counter the effect of warm air rising from the first floor.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and set it to accurately follow your schedule. For details, follow these Proper Use Guidelines.

Home Cooling

  • During the summer, adjust the temperature 1°-2° per week to a higher setting, allowing your body to adjust to the new temperature. Raising the temperature just a couple of degrees can cut your cooling costs by as much as five percent. Start by setting your air conditioner thermostat to 78°F or higher - health permitting - when you're at home.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and set it to accurately follow your schedule. For details, follow these Proper Use Guidelines.

Natural Gas Barbecue

  • To reduce cooking time, choose foods with comparable cooking times and keep the lid closed as much as possible.
  • Using your barbeque or grill in the summer helps to keep your kitchen cool.

Natural Gas Fireplaces

  • Consider installing high-efficiency natural gas fireplace inserts or freestanding stoves. If your fireplace doesn't have glass doors, consider having a set installed to help keep warm air in the house. NOTE: Glass doors require proper venting.
  • Close fireplace dampers, if possible, when not in use.

Natural Gas Patio Heaters

  • Natural gas patio heaters utilize radiant heat, warming objects, instead of the surrounding air.
  • A patio heater's efficiency is affected by the wind; consider a sheltered area for installation, accommodating manufacturer's required clearances. When mounted along a wall or in eaves, directional gas patio heaters are less affected by wind.

Pool & Spas

  • Keep your spa or pool covered when not in use. Well-fitted pool and spa covers minimize nighttime heat loss as well as prevent chemical loss and water evaporation.
  • To help maintain pool heating and equipment efficiency, schedule an annual inspection and deliming of the heat exchanger.
  • Check with your pool service technician to determine the minimum number of hours required to run pool filtering and cleaning systems.

Windows

  • A window's ability to insulate is given by its U-value. The lower the U-value, the more efficient the window.
  • Look for the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label as your guide to window energy performance.
  • Consider Energy Star®-qualified windows, they can help save up to 15% on your cooling costs.
  • Look for windows with energy saving features such as: low-e coating, double panes, and vinyl or fiberglass frames.

Home Office

  • Activate "sleep" features on computers and office equipment that power down when not in use for a while. Turn off equipment during longer periods of non-use to cut energy costs and improve longevity.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing home office equipment, like computers, monitors, printers, scanners, and fax machines. Personal computers meeting the ENERGY STAR specifications use 20-50% less energy and ENERGY STAR printers average around 25% more efficient than a standard printer by powering down during periods of inactivity.

Carbon Calculators

  • You see the term "carbon footprint" everywhere these days. Carbon footprint is the term used for the carbon emissions produced by everyday activities.
  • Carbon calculators can help make you aware of this "footprint" and ways to make smarter choices for you and the environment.
  • Click for the type of carbon calculator that fits your needs: "Residential" or "Business".

Why Natural Gas?

Click here to learn more about the many ways that natural gas can help save energy and the environment.

To discover more advantages of using clean, efficient and domestically abundant natural gas throughout your home, click here.