Fighting Rising Gas Bills in Utah Winters
Utah isn’t the North Pole, but I still find myself fighting each winter to keep my energy costs down. Sometimes it seems like I’m fighting a losing battle, but I have learned some pretty good tricks for reducing what I pay my gas company each month.
Finding efficient doors and windows in Utah
Windows and doors are the primary ways heat escapes from your home (especially if your kids are too busy to close doors behind them.) Putting in more efficient windows and doors will cost you up front, but I found it paid for itself pretty soon in a couple cycles of hot summers and cold winters. In Utah triple pane windows aren’t overdoing it. Make sure you find a Utah window dealer that works with the most highly rated products in energy efficiency.
Air leak hunting
Getting brand new energy efficient triple pane windows doesn’t mean your home is airtight. You could have air escaping small cracks all over your home. These are usually pretty easy to fix with caulking or weather stripping, but first you have to find out where they are. You could hire a professional to find these leaks, but there are some tricks you can use to find them yourself. Go to www.energysavers.gov to find a list of ways to check for air leaks yourself.
Furnace maintenance checklist
This may seem obvious, but I don’t think I’m the only one who completely forgets about his furnace until it quits or you get the first winter gas bill. Check your furnace monthly or so to make sure it’s clear of debris, the hoses are intact, and the filter is clean. The filter should be changed every few months at least during cold weather. This furnace maintenance checklist will help you make sure yours stays running well.
These appliances work by moving heat from one place to another — much like refrigerators. Heat pump heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Moving heat from one place to another takes much less energy than creating it, so heat pumps are significantly more efficient than the average furnace. Unfortunately, these systems may not be enough for extreme weather, but they will still contribute to energy efficiency overall.
Get rebates for being environmentally responsible
Besides the energy efficiency savings you’ll gain with these tips, the monetary pats on the back could be substantial. You can get Federal energy efficiency tax credits for implementing some of these improvements. On top of that, installing energy efficient windows in Utah can also get you discounts on your gas and electricity bills for energy conserving improvements. If you live outside Utah, check to see if your local energy provider has a similar program.