Save on Energy with Propane This Winter
Posted: November 12, 2018
Heating season is in full swing here in North Carolina, with temperatures expected to drop into the 30s in the coming weeks (don’t blame us – we’re only the messengers).
With that cooler weather will inevitably come higher energy bills – but take heart: with a little planning and some lifestyle adjustments (and a little help from propane), you can moderate those bills without sacrificing comfort.
Here are a few ways to save on energy with propane this winter:
With your heating systems:
- Keep filters clean – A clogged filter on your propane furnace means overwork for your equipment and higher bills for you; check it once a month and change it when needed.
- Maintain your equipment – Small issues can quickly grow into bigger problems, so always try to catch them early. The best way to do it? Get routine heating system maintenance every year.
- Weatherize – Add caulk and weather stripping around windows, doors and other openings to keep the cold air out, and the air you paid to warm, in.
- Swap wood for gas – If you have a fireplace, consider getting a propane gas fireplace insert, which slots into your firebox and operates at about four times the efficiency of a wood burning fireplace. A propane hearth also heats faster and more evenly than a wood fireplace – and you can turn it on and off with a push of a button.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat – Why pay to heat an empty house? Turning your furnace down for eight hours a day can reduce your annual heating bill by as much as 10 percent each year – often enough to pay for the thermostat the first year you use it!
- Bring in the reserves – Consider adding a supplemental propane space heater to large or drafty rooms to take some of the burden off your furnace.
With your water heater:
- Drain it – Drain your water heater twice a year; this will extend its life and increase its energy efficiency by ridding your tank of sediments.
- Drop the temps – Most water heater thermostats are set higher than needed to get the job done in your taps and appliances. The U.S. Department of energy recommends a temperature setting of 120 degrees to balance efficiency and comfort.
- Lower the flow – Low-flow shower heads and aerators can cut your hot water usage in half without affecting the shower pressure.
- Switch to propane – Swap your electric water heater for a propane model. A propane water heater costs up to one-third less to operate and recovers hot water twice as fast as an electric heater.
- Upgrade to tankless – Take efficiency up a notch by swapping your storage tank water heater for a tankless model, which could save you up to 50 percent on your bills compared to an electric water heater.
- Fill ‘em up – Use full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine. Don’t pay to heat water two or three times, when you can do once.
When cooking on your propane range:
- Look for blue – If the flame on your propane range burns yellow rather than blue, it is wasting energy and needs maintenance.
- Check heat seals – Tears in the seal let heat escape.
- Keep it clean – With a dirty oven door, you’ll have to open the door to check on your food – and that costs you money.
- Keep a low profile – Most people cook with more flame than needed for today’s highly conductive cookware. Turn down the heat and save some money.
- Right-size it – Putting a small pot on a large burner can waste 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Match the burner to the job at hand.
- Cook in batches – Use all the space in your oven once you turn it on – you can always freeze portions for later.
- Use glass or ceramic dishes – Glass and ceramic dishes are highly efficient materials to use in the oven, so you don’t need as high a cooking temperature to cook your meal.
- Think out of the box – Could you line-dry some of your laundry instead of using a dryer? Could you bundle up instead of cranking up the heat? Look for free, easy ways to save energy.
- Invest in propane appliances – They’ll save you energy and money.
Save money this fall and winter with propane appliances and propane services from Parker Gas – contact us today for more tips on saving money this heating season!