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How to Save on Home Heating Costs as Natural Gas Increases

A natural gas furnace is the most efficient way to heat your home, particularly if you live in a cool climate. However, Reuters says the price of natural gas is anticipated to rise significantly during the winter heating season. Learn why the price of natural gas is getting more expensive and how to save on gas heating bills this year.

Why Is Natural Gas Going Up?

Each year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) produces a winter fuel outlook. Energy costs have already gotten more expensive globally, according to Reuters. This is due to the fact the demand for energy is now higher than the available supply.

How More Expensive Natural Gas Prices Will Affect You

Higher natural gas prices will affect you as you switch on your heating system and receive utility bills. Here’s about how much it will impact the average household during the six-month winter heating season, as compared to 2020.

    • Average heating bill for 2020 season: $573, or about $95.50 monthly.
    • Average heating bill for 2021 season: $746, or about $124.33 monthly. That’s about a 30% increase from the previous year.

4 Secrets for Saving on Heating Costs

In comparison to other fuel sources, a natural gas heating system is still the most affordable and most efficient way to heat your home. And there are a few steps you can take to you can do to keep your heating costs affordable this winter. Here’s how you can save on your gas heating bill.

1. Request a Furnace Tune-Up

Schedule furnace maintenance from an HVAC professional before the heating season begins. You’ll get more than fixing your heating system later on in the year.

This service consists of:

    • Evaluating and cleaning gas burners for proper operation.
    • Checking the heat exchanger for cracks to prevent dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.
    • Tracking warm air flow and blower operation to ensure peak performance.
    • Examining the gas valve to ensure fuel supply pressure is right.
    • Inspecting electrical parts for damage.
    • Taking a look at your thermostat to ensure it’s working right.

Having your HVAC system maintained each year helps manage energy use, reduces the chance of breakdowns and may even make your heating system last longer. Plus, most manufacturers require it to keep your valuable warranty applicable. This warranty protects you if a major part, such as the heat exchanger, fails on your home’s heating system during a specific period.

We know you’re busy and that it’s easy to forget about booking your furnace tune-ups. That’s why we provide membership programs created to make your life easier while helping you save money.

With our best-value Maintenance+™, you’ll enjoy regular preventive maintenance plus:

    • Energy savings up to 30%**
    • Guaranteed 24/7/365 priority service
    • No trip or overtime charges—ever
    • 15% discount on repairs and air purification products
    • 100% guarantee on repairs for one year*
    • Lifetime thermostat warranty
    • Home Health Report Card and 29-point visual check on every visit

2. Install a Smart Thermostat

HVAC professionals advise updating your programmable thermostat with one that’s “smart” to save money on your energy bill. This means it connects to Wi-Fi, so you can regulate your HVAC system from your smartphone or tablet from bed in the morning, or just about anywhere in the world. You’ll get real-time updates on how much energy you’re using.

The best smart thermostats for central heating have:

    • Wi-Fi capabilities with an app to control it from a smartphone or computer.
    • A color screen that shows the current temperature and humidity levels at home, as well as outside weather forecasts so you can adjust accordingly.
    • Eco mode settings that instantly set the thermostat to save you more money.
    • Smart programming that makes an energy-efficient heating schedule based on your temperature preferences.

Your energy company probably offers valuable rebates for adding a smart thermostat, since they’re ENERGY STAR® qualified. These rebates may cover a part or even the full cost of the thermostat, so contact your natural gas supplier before you buy one.

3. Select Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings

Your smart thermostat will take care of making an efficient schedule that potentially reduces your heating bill, but you’ll need to set it for a few days so it can learn your temperature preferences. We recommend following these winter thermostat settings from the U.S. Department of Energy and ENERGY STAR.

When You’re at Home

Your thermostat should be set to 68 degrees for the greatest energy savings. If this feels too chilly, these ways to save can help keep your home feeling more comfortable and your heating bill in check:

    • Choose window treatments that block heat loss, like as honeycomb shades, plantation shutters or window blankets, which are thick quilts.
    • Open south-facing window treatments during the day to let in natural heat from the sun. Keep your windows covered at night to keep out cold air.
    • Cover drafty windows with plastic sheeting to stop air leaks. Consider getting energy-saving windows later on, such as double pane with insulating gas or triple pane.
    • Set ceiling fans to reverse so they can disperse warm air that gathers near the ceiling.
    • Have an HVAC professional seal heating ducts. This is often done through adding metallic tape on gaps and helps you retain more hot air from your heating system.
    • Add weather stripping on windows and doors. Weather stripping is great at blocking cold air drafts and keeping warm air where it belongs.
    • Make sure heating vents are open. Closing vents in rooms you don’t use is a bad idea since it can affect air balance and make your furnace work harder. Also, try not to block vents as this impacts how heating systems distribute warm air.
    • Consider adding additional ceiling insulation, since your home loses a lot of hot air through the attic.
    • Schedule an energy audit through your natural gas company. This service is often free and provides valuable advice on how to save money and lower your heating bill. It may help you identify how much insulation you need to add, locate air leaks and more.

While You’re Sleeping

The National Sleep Foundation says most people sleep best in a cold room. During the winter, that can range from 60-67 degrees, depending on your personal preferences.

Try experimenting with your thermostat for about a week to choose the ideal temperature. Start with the temperature set at 67 degrees and decreasing it by a degree each evening. You might feel chilly at first, but you’ll probably be surprised how comfortable you can be at a lower temperature. And how much it can impact your heating bill!

While You’re Away

If you don’t have any pets, you can set your thermostat as cool as 50 degrees. This keeps your heating system operating and your pipes from icing. But don’t be tempted to crank up your furnace when you get back, instead of setting it back to 68. This won’t warm your home up faster. It’ll just increase your heating bill and result in wear and tear on your furnace.

If you have pets, you can use the Department of Energy’s suggestion to set your thermostat back 7-10 degrees while you’re away. Doing this while you’re at the office can save you up to 10% on heating bills every year.

4. Upgrade Your Furnace

Updating your outdated, inefficient heating system is one of the smartest ways to save on heating bills. A furnace’s efficiency is calculated in AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. In other words, this rating measures how efficiently your furnace uses fuel for heat.

Modern furnaces have an average AFUE of 95%, while old models only attain around 80%. Getting a new furnace that’s 15% more efficient can lead to major savings on your heating bills over your furnace’s life. While your exact utility bill reductions will vary based on local weather and your temperature preferences, these savings could help your primary heating source pay for itself in time through a cheaper natural gas bill.

When to Begin Considering Furnace Installation

Here are a few other indications that it’s time to start thinking about furnace installation:

    1. Age. Most furnaces run between 15-20 years with proper maintenance. If yours is close to this age, you should start planning for replacement to avoid being without heat when your furnace goes out for good.
    1. Repair frequency and price. If your furnace repair bills are greater than half the price of a new system, we recommend buying a new one. This also applies if repairs are becoming more frequent.
    1. Reduced comfort and more expensive heating bills. As your furnace gets older, it consumes more energy. You’ll see this through your home being less cozy and your heating bill being higher.
    1. Odd noises. It’s typical for your furnace to make some noise as it turns on and off. But some sounds, specifically rattling, banging or screeching, are a clear sign that something’s awry. Based on the severity of the problem, it may just be better to get a new furnace.
    1. Yellow burner flames. Your furnace’s burner flames should always be blue. Yellow flames mean your furnace is using more fuel and may even be producing carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous in large doses. Furnaces leaking this deadly gas should be taken out right away.

We realize that furnace replacement is a major investment. It can also be a surprise that you’re not completely prepared for. That’s why we offer the Service Experts Advantage Program™. This stress-free subscription program is transforming home comfort by covering everything, with no large up-front cost or down payment necessary.

For just one reasonable monthly fee, you’ll receive:

    • A new, high-efficiency furnace, plus valuable manufacturer’s rebates
    • Expert installation at no extra cost
    • Guaranteed 24/7/365 priority service
    • No trip or overtime charges—ever
    • Repairs, labor, parts and air filters at no added charge*
    • 15% discount on air purification products
    • Lifetime thermostat warranty
    • Home Health™ Report Card and 29-point visual check on each visit
    • Annual preventive maintenance and energy savings up to 30%**

Save Money on Heating Costs with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Although natural gas prices are going up, there are countless ways to reduce your heating bill with our Expert assistance. To get started, call us at 866-397-3787 for an appointment and we’ll take a look at what you can do to spend less money this winter!


*For HVAC Service Memberships, certain warranty exclusions and limitations apply. See your signed agreement for full terms and conditions. For the Advantage Program™, please see your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. Lease with approved credit; visit ServiceExperts.com for details. **Potential savings may vary depending on age and condition of equipment, personal lifestyle, system settings, equipment maintenance, and installation of equipment and duct system.

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