Easy energy-saving tips
Taking a whole-house approach to energy efficiency will help you get the most from your natural gas appliances and keep your home at its peak comfort level. Get started with free and low-cost improvements, which can lower your energy use and bills, especially in cooler months.
Keep furnace filters clean.
- A dirty filter slows air flow, makes the system work harder and wastes energy.
- Recommendation: Change your furnace filter once a month during the fall/winter season (for standard filters).
Adjust and clean vents.
- Make your adjustments based on the season and room location. For example, heat rises, so upstairs rooms need less of it.
- Recommendation: Don't close more than one or two vents in an average-sized house.
- Restricting airflow can shorten the life of your furnace.
- Vacuum vents regularly to keep air flowing freely.
Limit use of ventilation fans.
- Use kitchen, bath and other fans only as needed, especially in winter.
- Recommendation: Never keep fans on for more than an hour. They can blow away a houseful of warm air.
Program your thermostat.
- Turn down the thermostat to 65–68°F during the day and 58–60°F at night during cooler months.
Wash dishes and clothes with full loads only.
- Recommendation: Scrape food residue off plates instead of using water to rinse.
- Wash clothes with cold water.
Use draperies, awnings, blinds or shutters on all windows.
- It slows the loss of heat through the glass.
- Recommendation: In winter, keep window coverings open on sunny days and closed at night to insulate against cold outside temperatures.
Adjust ceiling fans.
- Use ceiling fans to push hot air down in winter and make cool air feel cooler in summer.
Close dampers when not using your fireplace or woodstove.
- Recommendation: Wait until the fire is completely out, which could take several hours.
Low-cost home improvements
Low-cost home improvements
Install high-performance showerheads and faucet aerators in all sinks. You can efficiently heat water and maintain water pressure.
Service natural gas appliance and equipment annually. NW Natural Preferred Contractors can do this for you.
Cover hot water pipes with insulation. Do the same with the first six feet of cold water pipes, too.
Maintain caulking and weather stripping. Fix when you see cracks, and use around windows and doors.
Fix dripping faucets. Any plumbing issues should be addressed immediately.
Save up to 30%* on:
- Heating and cooling costs when you seal air leaks and upgrade insulation in your home.
- Recommendation: Hire a contractor to pinpoint air leakage.
Save up to 15% on:
- Heating costs when you upgrade from a standard efficiency to a high-efficiency gas furnace.
- Recommendation: High-efficiency natural gas furnaces with a minimum 90% AFUE rating provide bigger energy savings.
Save up to 12% on:
- Household energy bills when you upgrade leaky windows.
- Recommendation: Look for high-efficiency windows that reduce condensation, and decrease drafts and air leaks.
Save 3%* on:
- Energy use with each degree you reduce the heat on your thermostat.
- Recommendation: Use a programmable thermostat that automatically reduces the heat at night or at times of day you're not home.
Save 3-5%* on:
- Energy costs with each 10-degree reduction in water temperature.
- Recommendation: Keep water heater temperature at 120 degrees, or 140 degrees if your dishwasher doesn't pre-heat water.
*Percentages agreed upon by Energy Trust of Oregon and NW Natural.
NW Natural customers have cut their energy use and carbon emissions in half.
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