With higher energy prices impacting homes and businesses this heating season, UGI encourages customers to use energy wisely. Here are a number of low or no-cost ways to save on your energy bill:
Have your heating system professionally serviced. UGI recommends your heating system be checked annually to ensure it is operating properly. Having your heating system professionally cleaned and serviced regularly can reduce your fuel costs, in some cases by as much as 10 percent.
Having your heating system checked is also an important safety practice, since improperly functioning systems can produce carbon monoxide.
Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat. A programmable thermostat enhances heating efficiency by enabling homeowners to better control their climate control system. A programmable thermostat makes it possible to turn the temperature down when no one is at home or when sleeping. Also, once the thermostat is programmed, it will automatically alter the temperature with no manual adjustments required.
Smart thermostats take that control several steps further, learning from the homeowner’s behavior, allowing the climate in the home to be controlled remotely, showing energy consumption in real time, and automatically adjusting based on ambient conditions such as humidity. Most smart thermostats can be controlled from a cell phone or a web app.
Clean or replace the filter. One of the simplest and most important ways to keep your heating system running efficiently is to maintain and/or replace the filters as recommended. Filters that are properly fitted and cleaned or replaced regularly can have a significant impact on your energy costs and the quality of air in your home.
Filters should be replaced or cleaned, depending on your type of filter, at least every three months, and often more frequently during the heating season. A dirty filter slows down air flow and makes your system work harder to keep you comfortable.
Make sure your appliances have proper air flow. Your home’s return-air vents ensure that the air inside your home circulates properly. If vents are not allowing air to flow because of an obstruction, your heating system will work harder to heat your home, leading to higher energy bills. Examine your vents and ensure that air can pass through. Clear obstructions such as clothes, toys, and furniture from in front of vents.
Clean and unblock heat registers. Dirt, dust, and pet fur reduce the effectiveness of ducts and registers that distribute heat. Make sure furniture, carpets, and blankets are not resting on your heat registers. Clean the registers regularly and make sure furniture and drapes don't inhibit the air flow.
Seal air leaks. Small air leaks around windows, doors, pipes, recessed lighting, and electrical outlets can add up to a significant loss of heat. Sealing air leaks can reduce your heating bills by 10-20 percent depending on specific conditions in your home.
Seal door leaks with weather-stripping or a door sweep. Window leaks can be sealed with caulking. Pay particular attention to the attic hatch or pull-down stairs as well as any interior-wall top plates in the attic, as these areas leak frequently.
.Check for rebates. Most UGI natural gas and electric customers can qualify for a number of rebates associated with the installation of energy-saving measures in your home or business. These rebates cover items such as a smart thermostat, energy saving measures such as insulation, or the installation of an ENERGY STAR certified heating system. Visit www.ugi.com/savesmart for full program details.
UGI Utilities is a natural gas and electric utility with headquarters in Denver, Pennsylvania. UGI serves more than 730,000 customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland. Customers and community members are invited to visit the UGI website at www.ugi.com; our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ugiutilities; or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.