ThermWise® Energy-Saving Tips
Energy-smart consumers buy natural gas appliances. And the best way to get the most out of every energy dollar is to have a qualified professional periodically make sure your appliances work at peak performance. Saving energy means saving money. Here are some tips that will help you do both:
FURNACE TIPS – The single largest user of natural gas in the home is the furnace. A well-maintained furnace will work more efficiently and last longer. And when it's time to buy a new furnace, an expert can advise you on the
best solution for your home-heating needs.
- Choose an ENERGY STAR furnace – If it's time to replace your
existing furnace, consider buying a furnace that's earned the ENERGY STAR
label. ENERGY STAR furnaces have an annual fuel efficiency rating (AFUE)
of 90% or higher, making them up to 15% more energy efficient than standard
- Professional tune-up – A periodic furnace inspection by a
heating professional will ensure safe, efficient operation. Change the
filter – changing the furnace filter regularly will help keep
clean air flowing throughout your home. If the filter becomes dirty
or clogged, it will restrict airflow and cause the furnace to stay
on longer – using more fuel. Note: If you have a central air
conditioner, your filter may need to be changed more frequently because
it's working during the summer too.
- Keep vents and registers unobstructed – Move drapes, rugs
and furniture away from heat registers and return-air vents. Free-flowing
air through the furnace provides quick comfort for less money.
- Install a programmable thermostat – You won't have to
remember to turn the furnace down when you go to sleep or leave for work.
Consistent temperature control will help reduce your fuel usage and lower
your energy costs.
WATER HEATER TIPS – This is the second-largest energy user in the home. Even
though natural gas water heating is economical, there are ways to stretch your
- Lower the temperature – Reduce the temperature setting on
your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or turn the dial from high
to medium. Turn the dial to low if you are going to be gone for a few
days or more.
- Reduce hot water usage – Take showers instead of baths to
reduce hot water use. Fix leaky faucets and run clothes- and dishwashers
with a full load. Install water-flow restrictors in shower heads and
faucets. Restrictors can cut hot-water use without affecting comfort.
- Insulate the water heater and hot-water pipes – Install a
water-heater blanket and hot-water-pipe insulation. Follow the
manufacturer's installation instructions.
- Choose an energy efficient water heater – When replacing a
water heater, the best way to assure performance is to purchase a model
with a high energy factor (EF) rating. The higher the EF, the better.
Natural gas water heaters with an EF rating of 0.63 qualify for ThermWise
CLOTHES DRYER TIPS – Dry clothes faster and for less money with natural
gas. These natural gas dryer tips can help save you money and leave "nothing
out to dry."
- Choose a dryer with a moisture sensor – Many new clothes
dryers have moisture sensors available. When your clothes are dry, the
dryer shuts off, which will save you money.
- Dry full loads – You'll use less energy per clothing
item. And when one load is done, follow up with another load to benefit
from the residual heat.
- Clean the lint screen between each load – A clean screen
allows for quick drying cycle.
GENERAL TIPS – There are a number of ways to cut your energy costs
by making your home more energy efficient.
- Choose products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label. Products in more than 50
categories are eligible for the ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR is the trusted national
symbol for energy efficiency, backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
and the U.S. Department of Energy. ENERGY STAR products use less energy, save
money and help protect the environment.
- Windows are a major source of heat loss. Consider installing storm or thermal
windows. ENERGY STAR windows save you energy and money, increase the comfort of
your home and protect your valuable possessions from sun damage. A less expensive
alternative is plastic sheeting, which can be fastened over windows to retain heat.
- Set the thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees during the winter, and 58
degrees when away from the house for more than a few hours. Before
sleeping, lower the thermostat and add an extra blanket for warmth. Bear
in mind that warmer temperatures are recommended for homes with ill or
elderly people or infants.
- Keep heat registers and air-return vents unobstructed. Your furnace must be able to
circulate air freely to work efficiently. Arrange your furniture with heating economy
- Heat rises so use registers to direct warm air–flow across the floor. Ceiling
fans can also help circulate warm air into the living area.
- Use drapes, shutters, awnings, shade trees, glass with reflective film and/or solar
screens to keep your house cooler in the summer. Let sunlight in during the winter
to help warm your house.
- When buying new appliances, compare energy-efficiency ratings and annual operating
costs. A slightly higher initial cost for a high-efficiency appliance could be paid
back quickly through energy savings and lower utility bills.
- Eliminate air leaks in your home with caulking, sealants or weather stripping. Look
for leaks around windows, doors, plumbing, ducts, and electrical outlets.
- Close vents and doors in unused rooms and close dampers on unused fireplaces.
- Check to see if the attic and walls have the recommended levels of insulation.
Improve your homes energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR
Consumer Energy Savers Tips
Weatherization Assistance Program
Energy efficient housing and "green mortgages"
National Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency - DSIREUSA.org