Energy Saving Tips

Energy Star Propane AppliancesWant to reduce your energy consumption and save money?

It might be time you look into purchasing new Energy Star rated propane appliances.

As a Lakes Gas customer, you're already using energy efficient propane, but energy efficient products verified by Energy Star could help save you even more money.

The program, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, identifies and promotes energy efficient products. You'll find an energy efficient replacement for most propane appliances you currently use in your home.

To earn the Energy Star label a product must meet certain guidelines, including:

  • Contributing to significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Delivering features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • Be comparable in price to conventional products, or pay for itself in utility bill savings within a reasonable period of time.
  • Use broadly available technology.

You'll recognize Energy Star products by the blue Energy Star logo on the product or its packaging.

Common Energy Star propane appliances include:

  • Clothes dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Many more products.

Just one major Energy Star product, such as a water heater, can help you save hundreds on your energy bill every year.

Looking for an Energy Star product? Use the handy product finder to locate one that fits your needs.

Programmable ThermostatWinter means snow days, hot cocoa, and often, high heating bills.

But if you use propane, there are some easy ways you can save energy — and money — in any weather. You know some basics, like how setting your thermostat low and bundling up can help you save energy, but the North Carolina State Cooperative Extension has some tips you might not have considered.

Here are some little-known ways to help you save energy when you use propane.

  • Have your furnace and gas appliances serviced annually by a qualified professional. If they don't work properly, they could be wasting energy or cause a safety hazard.
  • You know caulking and weather stripping can help keep cold air out and heated air in, but did you know it's not something you should tackle yourself? Improperly installed, air sealing can cause back drafting in combustion appliances. So avoid the risk and hire a professional.
  • Place furniture against inside walls. Seats by outside walls invite drafts, so you'll feel colder, no matter the inside temperature.
  • A programmable thermostat and apps can save you money by heating your home around your schedule. You can set it to automatically lower the temperature when you're at work and increase it when you come home, so you're not wasting money on a toasty room when no one is there to enjoy it.
  • Use ventilation fans only when needed. Remember: they're not just pulling the smell out of the room; they're also taking air you paid to heat. Turning them off quickly will save you energy.
  • A bare window can let heat escape, so use blinds or drapes on all windows. Open them during the day to let the sun warm the room and close them at night to keep cold air out and warm air in.

Hot Water HeaterSaving energy is not only good for the environment. It's good for your wallet. If you're looking for cleaner energy, propane is a great choice. But with a few simple tips, you can save even more energy and money when you use propane. Here are some little steps that can help you save lots of money on your energy bills.

Staying Warm with Propane

Change your furnace filter monthly. Clogged filters means your furnace must work harder, using more energy.

Inspect your heating systems regularly. If they're not working properly, you're probably not getting the most bang for your buck.

Add caulk and weather stripping around windows, doors and other openings. Don't let cold air in, or air you've paid to heat out.

If you're thinking about buying a fireplace, consider one that is fueled by propane. Propane fireplaces spread heat more evenly and burn more efficiently than wood-burning fireplaces.

Invest in a furnace thermostat timer that lowers your heat when you're not home. Why spend money for a toasty room when no one's there to use it? Turning your furnace down for eight hours a day can reduce your annual heating bill by as much as 10% each year.

Using Water 

Drain and clean your water heater twice a year. This will extend its life and increase its energy efficiency.

Save more on your hot water bill by turning down your water heater. Most are kept at 120 to 140 degrees but can be lowered to as little as 115 degrees without much noticeable effect. Every 10 degree reduction in water temperature results in about an 8% savings in energy use.

Install flow restricting shower heads. They can reduce your hot water usage by up to 50% without affecting the shower pressure.

Convert to a propane water heater. They cost up to one-third less to operate and recover hot water twice as fast as electric heaters.

Repair leaky faucets. A leak that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste 3,200 gallons of water a year. That's pennies down the drain that can quickly add up.

Use full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine. Don't pay to heat water two or three times, when you can do it just once by running a full machine.

Cooking with Propane

  • If you're looking into gas ranges for cooking, consider an electronic ignition system. They use up to 40 percent less energy than a standing pilot system.
  • When it comes to burners, look for blue. A blue, cone-shaped flame is a sign of a properly working burner. A yellow flame is a sign of malfunction. It could mean the air inlets are clogged or the burners need adjustment. If you don't see a blue flame, contact Lakes Gas Co. immediately.
  • Check the seal on your oven door. Gaps or tears in the seal will let heat escape and waste energy.

Other Areas

  • Use an alternative. Could you line-dry some of your laundry instead of using a dryer? Could you bundle up instead of cranking up the heat? Look for free, easy ways to save energy.
  • Buy Energy Star propane-powered appliances. To earn the Energy Star label, products must meet requirements outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They'll save you energy and money. Learn more about Energy Star products here.

Additional Sources
Energy.gov

  • Change your furnace filter monthly.
  • Inspect your heating systems regularly.
  • Add caulk and weather stripping around windows, doors and other openings.
  • Invest in a furnace thermostat timer that lowers your heat when you’re not home. Turning your furnace down for eight hours a day can reduce your annual heating bill by as much as 10% each year.
  • Extend the life of your water heater and increase its energy efficiency by draining and cleaning it bi-annually.
  • Save more on your hot water bill by turning down your water heater from the standard 120 degrees to 115 degrees. Every 10 degree reduction in water temperature results in about an 8% savings in energy use.
  • Install flow restricting shower heads. They can reduce your energy usage by up to 50% without affecting the shower pressure.
  • Convert to a propane water heater. They cost up to one-third less to operate and recover hot water twice as fast as electric heaters.
  • Repair leaky faucets. A leak that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste 3,200 gallons of water a year.
  • If you’re thinking about buying a fireplace, consider one that is fueled by propane. Propane fireplaces are known to spread heat more evenly and burn more efficiently than wood-burning fireplaces.
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