When winter approaches, worrying about the colder season’s impact on your gas bill is normal. Cold weather conditions, longer nights, and extra time spent indoors affect how often you turn up the thermostat. When staying warm means staying comfortable, it can be stressful to consider the additional expense every time you increase the temperature.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to cut down on heating costs. These practical strategies can help you reduce your gas bill in the winter months without sacrificing warmth or comfort in your home.
Understanding Gas Consumption
With a clearer picture of what’s behind gas usage in your home, reducing and optimizing consumption to reduce your gas bill in the winter can be easier.
What Consumes Gas in Your Home?
Various appliances and systems in your home can consume gas, including your water heater, furnace or boiler, stove or oven, dryer, and some fireplaces. Gas is a fuel source that generates heat or creates a flame so these components can function. When they’re in use a lot, or if they’re malfunctioning or outdated, it can increase gas consumption.
Is It Cheaper to Heat with Gas or Electric?
It depends. Whether it’s more cost-effective to heat with gas or electric systems hinges on several factors, like current energy prices, the quality of your home’s insulation, and the efficiency of your heating system. Natural gas is generally more economical than electric heating, especially when gas prices are low. Energy prices can fluctuate in different regions and where renewable energy sources are also available.
Why Is Gas Usage High in Winter?
Gas consumption is higher in the winter because of the increased demand for heating to keep indoor spaces at a comfortable temperature. Using natural gas to heat your home is rarely necessary during the summer.
The decrease in daylight hours during the winter also means indoor spaces, appliances, and systems are in use for more extended periods. Reducing your gas bill during winter’s colder conditions means looking at gas-dependent activities and systems contributing to higher gas usage.
7 Tips to Reduce Your Gas Bill in Winter
These actionable steps can keep your gas costs under control and help keep your home warm while allowing you to stick to your monthly budget.
1. Upgrade Your Insulation
Your home’s insulation should help maintain a consistent indoor temperature, no matter the conditions outside. However, air leaks around windows, doors, and other openings can let in cool drafts, causing your heating system to work harder to keep the place at a comfortable temperature.
Start by finding drafts, identifying worn-out weatherstripping, and noticing areas that seem colder than others. You can then seal gaps and cracks with the necessary materials to repair and weatherize your space.
Plastic insulation is a cost-effective way to keep your home warm during the winter. Transparent plastic film can help prevent heat loss and block cold drafts from infiltrating. You can find this insulation at most major hardware stores. It takes just minutes to apply and can be cut to fit your windows to act as a barrier and improve the thermal efficiency of your space.
3. Develop a Heat Schedule
Reducing your gas bill during the winter means being mindful of when to keep your house heated and when to turn down the temperature. It’s nice to come home to a warm place, but heating an empty house can be costly—especially if you know you’ll be out for a while.
A programmable thermostat can help automatically adjust temperatures based on your schedule. If this isn’t an option, you can set alarms or reminders to turn down the temperature before you head out of the house.
4. Increase the Temperature Slowly
While it can be tempting to significantly turn up the thermostat to maximize warmth, keeping your house at a temperature just a few degrees lower can result in savings over time. Maintaining the place at 68 degrees Fahrenheit is a good balance between comfort and efficiency. If you feel cold, try increasing the temperature by one degree at a time rather than several all at once. A slight increase can make a decent difference.
5. Utilize Natural Heat Sources
Even though the days are shorter, the sun’s energy can do much to heat your home. During the day, keep blinds and curtains open to allow natural sunlight to heat your home. This method works best with measures to minimize heat loss, such as plastic insulation, proper weatherstripping, or thermal curtains you can close at night to help trap the heat energy inside.
6. Create a Warmer Sleeping Environment
An excessively hot or cold room can disrupt your ability to fall and stay asleep. Many people turn up the heat during the winter to keep warm while they sleep. However, research shows that the best temperatures for sleep are between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ideal temperature likely at 65 degrees.
Consider keeping your thermostat lower at night than you do during the day. To maximize the warmth in your home, you can close off unused rooms, wear warmer sleepwear, and use heavier blankets to rely less on your heating system.
7. Maximize Energy Efficiency
Several energy-efficient practices can help you save money at home and do much to reduce your gas bill in the winter or at least help offset the increased seasonal costs. Here are just a few ways you can use your heat and energy wisely:
- Use a space heater if you know you’ll be in one area of your home, and; lower the thermostat for the rest of the house.
- Run your ceiling fan in reverse at a low speed to help circulate warm air that tends to accumulate near the ceiling.
- Allow the heat from hot showers and oven temperatures (now that you’re cooking at home more often) to circulate by leaving the oven or bathroom doors open for a while after you’re finished.
- Remove barriers that could block vents or radiators, including furniture or curtains, to allow warm air to travel unimpeded through your space.
Your Solution for Seasonal Expenses
Implementing strategies to reduce your gas bill in the winter is a great way to benefit your budget. Still, unexpected financial situations can disrupt even the soundest financial plans with emergencies and unplanned expenses.
When they do, Power Finance Texas can help individuals in need with fast and accessible loan options. Explore our financing solutions by visiting one of our locations or browsing our options online. Learn how we can help you with quick, straightforward financial assistance.