How to save money on your gas bill and still stay warm
Cutting back on your gas bill doesn’t mean being left out in the cold. Here’s how to do it!
7 min read
Asking how to save money on your gas bill? Then you’re in the right place. If you heat your home with natural gas, you can count yourself lucky. It’s three to four times cheaper than heating it with electricity, which already means you pay less each year. However, during the winter months, you can use up to seven times more gas than in summer, which can seriously increase your annual gas expenses. So, here are 11 simple tips on how to save money on your gas bill so you can be as cost-efficient as possible.
11 tips on how to save money on your gas bill
Regardless of the season, there are a few ways to optimize your home so that you use less gas when winter arrives. You can start putting the following tips into action even during warmer months, so that you’re fully prepared when it starts to get cold.
1. Perform an energy audit
While you can pay a professional to perform an energy audit of your home, it’s also possible to do this yourself and save a bit of money. To properly audit your home, you need to go around each room and inspect any areas where there could be potential leaks to the outside. These include:
Pipes and plumbing
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If you find that cold air is seeping in around any of these areas checked in your audit, you’ll need to block them up. This could mean using specialized canned spray foam or caulk to stop air from entering around any piping, installing insulation around your electrical outlets, and using pressure-sensitive plastic or rubber weather strips around your window and door frames. Leaky windows and doors are often the main culprits when it comes to air leaks. According to Energy.gov, they can contribute to a solid 10 to 25 percent of your heating bill if not properly sealed, so make sure you check them thoroughly.
3. Invest in a smart thermostat
One of the best ways to reduce your gas bill is to optimize the way you use your thermostat. This means heating your house when you’re using it and keeping it cool while you’re away and—if you really want to go the extra mile—heating specific rooms when they’re in use while keeping other rooms cool.
The best way to do this is to invest in a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats connect to the WiFi and are controllable from your phone, laptop, or tablet. This means you can adjust your home’s temperature whether you’re there or not, allowing for a great deal of flexibility that manual thermostats simply can’t provide.
Many smart thermostats also offer what’s referred to as “multi-zone functionality” which allows you to control the temperature of individual rooms. The more advanced ones also track your heating use over time and create a personalized heating and cooling schedule in accordance with your needs.
4. Switch gas providers
One of the easiest ways to save money on your gas bill is to ensure that you’re on the most cost-efficient plan available. If you’ve been on the same tariff for a long time, there’s a good chance you’re paying more than you need to. This is because there’s usually quite a gap between the standard variable tariffs most gas companies offer and the cheapest fixed plans available on the market.
Use a price comparison website to assess all the different tariffs on offer and go from there. You may be surprised by how much you could save.
How to reduce your gas bill in winter
Having prepared your home for the coming winter, there are now a few things you can do during the colder months to reduce your gas bill. Ranging from reusing any heat you’ve already generated to making smart clothing choices, you may be surprised by some of the tips we suggest to reduce your gas bill in winter!
5. Regulate your thermostat
Whether you have a manual or smart thermostat, controlling the level you set it to is one of the easiest ways to reduce your gas bill. To really make some savings, consider reducing the temperature of your thermostat by one degree each week so that you and anyone else living in your home can eventually feel comfortable with the house being heated at 68°F (20°C). When no one is home, make sure to reduce it to around 55°F (13°C) as heating your home during this time is a waste of energy. When everyone is asleep, consider setting your thermostat to around 60°F (15–16°C), and if possible, program it to be around 68°F (20°C) an hour before the first person gets up.
6. Don’t use your wood-burning fireplace
While they may feel as though they’re generating a lot of heat, if you’re lucky enough to own a wood-burning fireplace, it’s best if you use it sparingly. This is because up to 80% of all the heat it produces escapes through the chimney. What’s more, as the hot air leaves, it sucks in cold air from the outside through any gaps around your windows, doors, and air vents. As a result, you end up using a lot more energy and doing a lot more damage to the environment when using a wood-burning fireplace.
7. Dress for warmth
The best way to prevent yourself from needlessly adjusting your thermostat is to ensure you’re dressing appropriately during the winter. While it may sound obvious, by investing in a good pair of merino wool socks, a heavy seater, or a fleece bathrobe, you may save yourself a great deal of money on your gas bill.
If you’re serious about dressing smartly when it’s cold outside, here are a few items you might want to purchase to take your indoor clothing game to the next level:
A wool poncho
A cashmere beanie
Merino wool slippers
8. Use a portable electric heater
If you live alone, or there are long periods of time where you’re the only person in the house, it might be worth considering purchasing a portable electric heater. This is a great budgeting tip, since instead of heating your entire house with central heating, you can simply heat the room you’re in—saving you a significant amount on your gas bill.
However, it’s important not to leave your portable electric heater unattended. If you leave the room, be sure to turn it off beforehand, since they can be a fire hazard.
9. Reuse any heat you’ve already generated
An often overlooked tip, reusing the heat you’ve generated from things like cooking in the oven or having a hot shower can increase the overall temperature of your home. After you’ve finished cooking something, keep the oven door open so that the hot air can circulate around the kitchen and beyond. After a hot shower, keep the bathroom door open so that the heat can travel into the other rooms in your house.
10. Close your curtains at night
When the sun goes down, the outside temperature drops sharply. Consequently, it’s a good idea to keep your curtains or blinds drawn once it becomes dark. Curtains and blinds help keep cooler air from entering your rooms and, therefore, keep your home warmer overall.
11. Invest in thermal curtains or insulated window panels
One last tip? Invest in some thermal insulated curtains. These curtains usually have a high-density foam core that prevents any heat from leaving the room. An additional benefit is that thanks to their extra layer, they also help block any outside noise from entering your home.
If you want to go one step further, consider buying insulated panels for your windows. As these foam panels are made to measure and are pressed closely against your windows with strips of magnetic tape, they prevent even more cold air from getting into your home and keep your room even warmer. However, while they’re certainly functional, they’re generally not as aesthetically pleasing as a pair of regular curtains!
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