How can I save money in my propane-powered home this winter?

Save money

Temperatures are beginning their annual descent here in Lansing – and with colder weather heading our way, higher heating bills won’t be far behind.

If you’re looking for ways to keep those bills as low as possible, here are some great ways to do it.

Free efficiency fixes

  • Program your thermostat – A programmable thermostat can help you save 10 percent on your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Drop temperatures by seven to ten degrees when you’re asleep or out of the house, and aim for a moderate temperature of 68 degrees for the best balance of comfort and energy efficiency when people are home.
  • Let the sun shine in – Open blinds and curtains during the day to collect solar heat, then close them at night to keep that heat in.
  • Lower your water heater thermostat – The factory default setting for many water heater thermostats can be as high as 140 degrees; 120 degrees is more than enough for most home applications.
  • Change your clothes washing habits – Always wait until you have a full load to wash, and set the water capacity to meet the needed size for the clothes that need cleaning. Skip the warm and hot wash cycles, too: today’s detergents work equally well on cold and warm settings.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans – Ceiling fans in winter? You bet. A ceiling fan can push rising warm air back into your living space – as long the direction of your fan blades is set to do that. Most ceiling fans can be reversed with the flip of a switch– see your fan owner’s manual for instructions.

Modestly priced fixes

  • Weatherize – Air leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars by forcing your furnace or boiler to overwork to keep you comfortable. Caulking and weather sealing are cheap, effective ways to minimize leaks.
  • Upgrade your window treatments – Your curtains and blinds can have a big impact on your energy bills, so choose your window treatments wisely.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerators – Low-flow showerheads and aerators (the screw-on tip to your faucets) can cut your hot water usage in half without any noticeable difference in water pressure or comfort.
  • Maintain your equipment – Professional preventative maintenance for your propane- or oil-fired equipment is the key to keeping it operating at peak efficiency month after month, year after year.
  • Order fuel early – Although it doesn’t always happen, propane prices and fuel oil prices usually rise as demand for fuel increases in the winter months, so topping off early often pays. Using one of our convenient payment options helps, too. Scheduling a heating oil or propane delivery in fall also helps ensure you’ll be ready for any sudden Michigan cold snaps that happen our way.

Long-term efficiency investments

  • Add insulation – Most homes in Ingham, Eaton, Shiawassee and Clinton Counties- especially older ones – are under-insulated. A one-time investment in proper insulation can cut your energy bills by up to 10 percent every year. Check out these DOE insulation tips and guidelines.
  • Upgrade single pane windows – If your budget allows, consider replacing single pane windows with Energy Star™ rated models. You’ll have fewer drafts, which will take some of the pressure off your gas furnace.
  • Upgrade older appliances – Most of today’s high efficiency home comfort equipment performs significantly better than older equipment – especially if that equipment hasn’t been properly maintained. If you’re replacing a 10-year-old system, your heating bill might drop 25 percent or more – enough to offset the investment in a new unit in just a few years.

Be smart and save money this heating season – contact Lansing Ice & Fuel for the best value in propane delivery in our Ingham, Eaton, Shiawassee and Clinton County service area!