How to Save on Propane Gas Usage During the Winter
There are about 7 million households in the United States that use propane to heat their homes and power their appliances.
In Long Island, New York, propane is preferred by homeowners over oil because it is more green, more efficient, and more versatile.
If you are a Long Island homeowner that uses propane in your home, you might be wondering how to save on propane heating costs during the winter.
There are a number of ways your propane company and some small home improvement projects can work together to help you save on propane.
Partner with Your Propane Company to Optimize Propane Usage
Use the Right Size Tank & Fill Up Early
Propane prices fluctuate based on demand. For example, in Long Island, NY, propane prices hit lows in July and start to steadily rise in October as the weather cools and demand increases.
Homeowners with 500-1,000 gallon propane tanks might choose to fill their tanks before prices start to rise. Not only will homeowners avoid weather-based price increases, they will benefit from buying in bulk. The price of propane per gallon is often lower if you purchase more gallons in a single delivery.
Lock in Your Rate or Cap Your Price
Some propane companies offer a lock-in-rate program or price cap rate options if you agree to purchase a certain amount of propane ahead of time.
Pre-buying propane at a lock-in or price-cap rate can help you save on propane by purchasing more when the company is offering a discount.
Enroll in a Budget Program
Flexible propane companies also offer budget-programs that spread your monthly payments out over 12 months for a preset amount of gallons at a fixed price. This means that your budget is more predictable and manageable.
Avoid Extra Fees by Enrolling in a Smart-fill program with a monitor
If you run out of propane, your propane company often has to do an emergency delivery and tank inspection, which will result in extra fees to you.
To avoid extra fees on your bill, choose a company that offers propane monitoring and a smart-fill program that automatically triggers your propane delivery.
Maintain Your Heating Systems
Regular service to your heating system is critical for the efficiency of your propane furnace. Regular maintenance includes ensuring propane lines don’t have leaks, checking the mechanical function, and ensuring vents and filters are clean.
Home Improvement Ideas to Save on Propane
Invest in a Smart Thermostat & Utilities Energy-Saving Schedule
A smart thermostat can help you reduce propane usage and costs by efficiently heating your home.
Whereas programmable thermostats are only efficient when programmed correctly, smart thermostats learn the patterns of your home and create an appropriate heating schedule.
This helps you save on propane usage and costs by adjusting the temperature to reduce the load on your furnace.
Adjust the Temperature on Your Hot Water Heater
It’s possible that your hot water heater is at a higher temperature than it needs to be.
The standard setting for a hot water heater is 140°. However, many households can save on propane usage by adjusting the temperature to 120°.
This reduces standby losses and consumption.
Trap the Sun’s Heat
The sun can be a heating cost saver for your home. Even in the winter when the sun’s strength isn’t as strong, it is still heating your home.
During the day, open the curtains so that the sun warms up your house. At night, you can close the curtains and trap the heat in your home. Heavy curtain will help better insulate your home.
Minimize the Use of Kitchen and Bathroom Fans
Kitchen and bathroom fans are quite useful but they are also responsible for sucking hot air out of your home. If you are mindful of using these fans it can help with your winter propane use.
Regularly Change Your Furnace’s Air Filter
Your heating bill will be higher if you are using a dirty filter in your furnace. A dirty air filter forces your HVAC system to work harder to push air through.
You should change your air filter once every 1-3 months.
Get an Energy Audit
It is easy to schedule an energy audit for your home. New York State has energy audit programs that will:
- Analyze your home’s energy usage
- Identify unknown issues
- Recommend savings opportunities
These programs can help make your home more energy efficient.
Insulate and Seal Your Home
The average home loses between 25% to 30% of its total heat usage due to system inefficiencies and improperly insulated homes.
Hot air rises and often escapes through insufficiently insulated attics. Ensure the insulation in your attic is sufficient to trap heat inside your home.
You can also trap heat inside by properly sealing windows and doors—areas where heat often escapes. Windows with multiple panes of glass are more energy efficient. If your home does not have at least double-paned windows, you can improve the energy efficiency by adding a clear plastic film or heavy-duty plastic sheets onto the inside of your window frame. Doing this during the cold winter months can help to keep air from escaping through your windows.
Make Sure Vents Are Clean and Clear
Another thing you want to do is make sure that there aren’t any belongings or furniture blocking your heat vents.
Keep areas around your heating vents clear. Vent directors can help you redirect your heat upwards or outwards if you have to partially obstruct the heat’s path. You’re paying for your heat and you want all of it to be delivered into your home without obstruction.
Save on Propane with an Efficient Home & the Right Supplier
Managing your propane gas budget comes down to who you choose as your propane supplier and how well you prepare your home. Choose a propane supplier that will help you maximize and control your gas budget.