Sunday, March 2, 2008

Do you want to know how I saved $42 in Gas Bill?

Lately I have been reading about home energy savings tips. I'm first time home owner and definitely not used to $200+ in Natural Gas monthly bill. So, I decided to find out ways to to save energy to lower Natural Gas bill. Last year, when I was living in apartment, one of my friend said, he had to pay $230 for Natural Gas bill. I thought he must had all his doors and windows open, but it doesn't took long for me to realize that. So, I was desperate to find ways to save energy.

Different Energy Saving Options:

I was exploring different way to save energy and I came across this interesting article from Lowe's on Energy Saving. Layout on page 8 that lists different ways air gets in and out of the home gave a different perspective to me about saving energy. Overall, I came across the following ways to reduce energy consumption

  • Home Insulation
  • Weather Strips - Doors, Windows and Attic
  • Lower the Thermostat
  • Increase Humidity ( Lower humidity takes longer to heat the home)
  • Install programmable thermostat
  • Set the thermostat to 30f and sleep under Bear Skin ( I will pass this one :) )
First, I decided to explore weather stripping for doors and windows and see if that would really help lower the energy bill. From Lowe's I got 2 energy saving strips to close the gap below the doors of the rooms we don't use frequently( day time and night time). The strip I got was $2.75 each. Its has self-adhesive, but I used 3M's small adhesive strips to attach cover the gap between the door and the carpet. Because, if guest have to use the room then it will be sealed off from air circulation and I have to peal off the strip, causing paint damage. From the Lowe's Energy Saving tips, if playing card can go through gap, energy is wasted.

So, after covering the gap between door and carpet and changed the air filter and waited for next month's Natural Gas bill. Apparently that worked. Since, Natural Gas consumption varies every month, I did some analysis, comparing January month's bill with February.

Monthly Energy ( Natural Gas ) bill Analysis

No of Days below 40F Average Monthly Temperature Monthly bill
Oct - 2007 0 $22 71
Nov - 2007 15 $115 55
Dec - 2007 20 $180 44
Jan - 2008 21 $207 44
Feb - 2008 22 $165 37

As, you can see, number of days over 40F in February was 1 day more than January and average temperature was 3F more. If the average temperature was more than, say 10F, then it would have been difficult the justify the installation of energy saving strip save me $42.

What Next:

Thermostat is located below the attic door. I realized, when I set the temperature to 70F, bedroom apparently gets heated to 73F. There was 3 degree difference between master bedroom and place where thermostat was installed.

I was curious to know why there was 3 degree difference. I went into attic and asked my wife to close the attic door. I was able to see gaps in the attic door even with the weather strip. So, I installed Rubber weatherstrips yesterday.

I plan to install programmable thermostat and weather strips to other windows and doors. Hopefully that will help us to save on energy costs. I'm interested to hear about what you did to lower the energy cost.


Energy Boomer said...

You are off to a great start saving natural gas. Do the light trick on your door to see if you need to seal heat in there.

There are many articles on my blog about saving on the heating bill, plus some that are specific for renters.

Birney summers

Anonymous said...

FYI your data in the table- temperature/costs are in the wrong columns. But thanks for sharing about saving $$$