I got my gas bill and it was 1/2 of what it was last year! I do live in southern AZ and don’t have as severe cold to deal with as many parts of the country do. To us, we do think it gets cold here! We get spoiled with our warm weather but pay for it in the summer when it feels like we are being cooked alive in the heat that is not always a “dry heat”.
Two things contributed to my reduced gas utility bill:
- I don’t use my dryer (I did get lazy and was using my dryer more, but when it broke several months ago I decided not to fix it)
- I put off turning on my gas furnace.
We used area heaters as needed. With gas heating in my home, the gas bill went up in the winter along with the electric bill due to the electricity needed to run the furnace. The same is true of the gas dryer, it uses electricity and gas to run. The electric bill was up a little with the area heater use, but it more than paid for itself with the reduced gas bill.
I did turn on the furnace last week. The nights were getting cold and it was hard to leave my room and enter the cold zone in the morning. I use the furnace at night to take the chill out of the house but not to really warm it. The space heaters are used during the night still. We keep the furnace off during the day and use the space heaters.
I just learned that the pilot light can be adjusted on the furnace and will be tuning it down to where it will stay lit and ignite the furnace, but not burn any more gas than is needed. I will wait until I have time to really monitor it through a couple cycles. I don’t want the pilot to go out and just the gas be released and I don’t want the furnace to keep trying to turn on but not be able to fire up. Neither is good or safe.
With area heaters, use ones that pull the least electricity so you don’t end up blowing the circuits. Plugging in a heavy duty extension cord to the outlet that the heater is plugged into can help. It will probably take 1-2 months for the heaters to pay for themselves, but they should last a few years. When using space heaters, close off rooms that aren’t in use so the heater is just warming the rooms you are using. Before bed time, put the space heater in the room and close the door. You will be able to go to bed in a cozy warm room.
I have the radiator looking type of space heater for the living room. It puts out a surprising amount of heat. I have a couple smaller ones with fans that are moved around for bedrooms, the bathroom, and the kitchen. I will warm up a bathroom with a heater but I always remove it before I begin to shower.
We used the area heaters in the rooms we were in. One of the space heaters I was most happy with was a small $12 heater with a fan. It kept a small room surprisingly warm. The fan and heater would turn on and off automatically to maintain a comfortable room temperature.
With space heaters and gas furnaces, be sure you understand AND follow all safety guidelines and please use common sense. A fire or loss of life is not worth a reduced gas bill!