Natural gas is already a sustainable and affordable means of providing heat in the home. To save money on your natural gas costs, you can compare rates from IGS Energy in Ohio and other natural gas suppliers or simply use your natural gas more efficiently. Take the following steps in order to avoid winter’s harsh bite into heating bills.

Regaining control of the thermostat is a rule that should be applied year-round. Residents that conscientiously adjust their thermostat according to the weather and internal conditions of the home save an average of 3 per degree each year when compared to residents who simply leave the setting at one constant temperature. It is recommended that people turn down their thermostat 10 degrees when they are out of the home for work and again when they go to bed. This practice has been shown to reduce heating bills by as much as 14. Water heaters are also another big drain of power, particularly during the winter months. The majority of water heaters are set at temperatures that are much higher than necessary. People can reduce the water heater temperature to 115 degrees with no noticeable difference within the home.

Fans are an important part of the gas heating system as well. They play a major role in distributing heat throughout the home. However, as a part of the ventilation systems, they can be a source that is drawing heat out of the home. Ventilation fans in areas such as the bathroom and the kitchen should be turned off immediately when their job is complete. Securing the airflow in the commonly used rooms of the house can also make major contributions to heat retention. Fireplace dampeners should be closed, and rooms that seldom receive use should be blocked off with closed doors. Studies have shown that chimneys and flues in the home will actively suck hot air out of a room during winter conditions.

The majority of the heat being circulated through the home is actually lost in the duct work and in the pipes. Before the beginning of each winter, it is a good idea to have the duct work checked for poor connections and degrading insulation. A total of 60 of the heat being pumped into the home can be lost through faulty duct work. Water heaters and pipes can also be “swaddled” to ensure better heat retention. Pipe and water heater wraps are available from any hardware store for under 20.