Mark Della, a Southwest Gas Corp. customer service technician, checks a thermostat on a home heating system for efficiency as one way to keep energy costs at home down in the winter months.
Southwest Gas Corp. offers the following tips for home energy conservation to keep energy costs down.
How does adjusting the thermostat on a home heater save money?
Turning down the thermostat can save about 2 percent of your heating bill for each degree that you lower the thermostat. Turning back your thermostat 10 degrees at night can save about 7 percent in heating costs.
Aside from replacing my windows, is there anything to do to make them more energy efficient?
Caulking and weather stripping spaces around doors and windows, or installing inexpensive switch-plate gaskets between the outlet and an exterior wall will prevent loss of energy dollars. About 2 percent of the heat loss in a home can occur through switch and plug outlets.
I have a fireplace but don't use it in the daytime when at work. Is it necessary to close then damper?
When not using the fireplace, make sure you close the damper to keep the warmth in your home. Since most building codes now require damper stops for natural gas fireplaces to prevent them from being fully closed, keep the glass doors on your fireplace closed when not in use.
I have a natural gas water heater. How does adjusting the temperature on it save/waste money?
Water heating is the third largest energy user in the home. To reduce water-heating costs, turn the dial on the water heater to "low" (120 degrees F); use an approved water heater insulated blanket (unless manufacturer indicates otherwise), and insulate the water pipes at the top of the water heater. If no one is to be home for one week or more, turning down the temperature to the lowest setting can also save money.
How often should the furnace filter be replaced/cleaned?
It is best to make it a habit to clean or replace furnace or air conditioning filters monthly. Clogged filters waste energy and make heating and cooling systems work harder than necessary.
Where does most of the energy in my home get used?
Forty-four percent of energy is used on heating and cooling; 33 percent is used on lighting, cooking and appliances; 14 percent is used on water heating; 9 percent on the refrigerator.
For more energy-saving tips, visit www.swgas.com/energysavingtips/index.php or call 882-2126, 1 (800) 832-2555 or for TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) 1 (800) 735-2929.