Ways to Save Energy with Propane This Winter
Posted: November 12, 2018
We’re well into heating season here in Maine, with temperatures dropping steadily as we push toward December.
As those temperatures drop, the heating bills in your propane-powered home will invariably go up – but how much they rise is the big question. If you want them to spike as little as possible in the coming months without sacrificing comfort for your family, follow these tips and you will save on energy with propane this winter:
- Keep furnace filters clean – A clogged filter will make your propane furnace overwork to do its job, which means higher bills for you; check it once a month and change it when needed.
- Maintain your equipment – Small issues can quickly grow into bigger, efficiency-robbing problems, so always try to catch them early. The best way to do it? Get routine heating system maintenance every year – preferably early in the season, so you can enjoy the benefits of professional service for as long as possible.
- Reduce air leaks – Add caulk and weather stripping around windows, doors and other openings to keep the cold air out and the air you paid to warm in.
- Swap wood for gas – If you have a fireplace, consider investing in a propane gas fireplace insert, which slots into your firebox. A propane insert operates at about four times the efficiency of a wood burner – and you can turn it on and off with a push of a button.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat – Why pay to heat an empty house? Turning your furnace down for eight hours a day can reduce your annual heating bill by as much as 10 percent– often enough to pay for the thermostat the first year you use it.
- Consider propane supplemental heat – A propane space heater will take the edge off a large or drafty room – and some of the heating load burden off your propane furnace.
- Drain it – Remove sediment by draining your water heater twice a year; this will extend its life and increase its energy efficiency.
- Run a little cooler – Most propane water heater thermostats are set higher than needed to get the job done in your taps and appliances. The U.S. Department of energy recommends a temperature setting of 120 degrees to balance efficiency and comfort.
- Lower the flow – Low-flow shower heads and aerators can cut your hot water usage in half without affecting the shower pressure.
- Say goodbye to electric – A propane water heater costs up to one-third less to operate and recovers hot water twice as fast as an electric water heater.
- Upgrade to tankless – Take efficiency up a notch by swapping your storage tank water heater for a tankless model, which could save you up to 50 percent on your bills compared to an electric storage-type water heater.
- Fill ‘em up – Use full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine rather than heating water twice for the same task.
- Look for blue – If the flame on your propane range burns yellow rather than blue, it is wasting energy and needs maintenance.
- Check heat seals – Tears in the seal around your oven let heat escape.
- Keep it clean – With a dirty oven door, you’ll have to open the door to check on your food – and that costs you efficiency.
- Lower the flame – Most people cook with more flame than needed for today’s highly conductive cookware. Turn down the heat and save some money.
- Right-size it – Putting a small pot on a large burner can waste 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Match the burner to the job at hand.
- Cook in batches – Use all the space in your oven once you turn it on – you can always freeze portions for later.
- Use glass or ceramic dishes – Glass and ceramic dishes are highly efficient materials to use in the oven, so you don’t need as high a cooking temperature to cook your meal.
Save money this fall and winter with propane equipment and propane services from Murray-Heutz – contact us today for more tips on saving money this heating season!