Tips and Tricks
Energy Efficiency Improvements Pay Off Like Never Before
We have some tips to help you use energy more efficiently. Taking just one or two of these recommended steps can make a big difference in your heating bill.
- Contact Hometown to have your heating system regularly inspected, cleaned and tested for efficiency and proper operation. A heating system that runs well is more efficient and will save you money.
- Invest in a thermostat timer that lowers your home’s temperature when you are not at home. You can cut your annual heating bills by as much as 10 percent a year by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for eight hours per day.
- Protect against drafts by caulking and weather-stripping around windows, doors and other openings such as ductwork, fans and vents.
- Install flow-restricting showerheads. You can reduce hot water usage by up to 50 percent without affecting shower pressure.
- Consider switching to a propane water heater. Over time, propane water heaters can cost up to one-third less to operate and they recover hot water twice as quickly as electric water heaters.
- Change or clean filters monthly. Clean filters will increase efficiency. If on a monthly payment plan, use receipt of your bill as a reminder.
- Run washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers with a full load.
- Turn down your water heater from the standard 120 degrees to 115 degrees. You can save more than 10 percent on your water-heating bill.
- Increase your water-heater’s efficiency by draining it every six months to remove mineral deposits and sediments.
- Replacing a heating system or water heater? Buy the most efficient model available. Energy savings over the life of the equipment will easily justify the higher initial cost.
- Check the chimney and appliance vent system at least once a year to ensure that all connections are secure.
- Keep vents and air returns clear of obstructions such as furniture, lint, dust or pet hair.
- Visually inspect your oil tank for leaks.
Safe Grilling Tips
- Always follow grill manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials accessible.
- When lighting a grill, keep the top open.
- Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
- When the cylinder is refilled, have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust or leaks.
- Before connecting or lighting a propane gas grill burner, use a leak-detection solution to check connections for tightness.
- Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
- After filling or exchanging a cylinder, take it home immediately. Keep the vehicle ventilated and the cylinder valve closed and capped.
- Do not allow for children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
- Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
- Do not use, store or transport cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
- When a grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep clean.