Based on frequently asked questions from our customers.
Q. Of all the efficiency tips Vermont Gas offers customers, which are the most important?
• Turn down the temperature! And consider installing a programmable setback thermostat. It will lower the heat automatically when you’re at work or asleep.
• Keep your heating equipment in good repair.
• Keep air registers and radiators free from obstructions. Warm air must be free to circulate.
• Replace or clean the filters on a hot air heating system. Dirty filters can reduce air flow and drive up heating costs.
Q. When should I replace my heating system?
If a furnace is more than 20 years old it’s due for replacement, for two reasons. It’s probably inefficient. And 20 years is about the life-expectancy of hot air furnaces. You don’t want a breakdown during a cold spell!
Q. How much should I lower my thermostat when the house is empty?
7 to 12 degrees.
Q. What’s the shortest time period for turning down the temperature if I want to save energy?
Turning down the thermostat for even two hours helps, but the longer the setback period the bigger the savings.
Q. What’s the minimum time I can wait to change the filters on my heating system and still have it operate properly?
Check every month, and clean or replace if dirty.
Q. I just spent a thousand dollars on new windows, and my bills are not going down. Why not?
Heat loss through windows usually accounts for less than 20% of natural gas usage in the home. And new windows are rarely twice as good as the windows they replace. So unless high performance windows are installed, the replacement windows may be little better than the old ones. Savings from window replacement rarely exceed 10 percent. Your money would be better spent on insulating blinds or curtains that you can close at night.
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