As your household prepares for winter temperatures, those that utilize natural gas in the home may benefit from energy saving tips from Atmos Energy.
Remember that colder weather may impact the amount of natural gas you use. To save energy and money, please consider these energy-saving tips where safe to do so:
- Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 58 degrees when you are away from home.
- Reduce your shower and bath time. Showering and bathing can account for 40 percent of your home's hot water use.
- Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. Water heating accounts for as much as 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home.
- Do not use a pool heater. Instead, run your pool pump during the coldest part of the day to circulate the water and prevent freezing.
- Operate your clothes washer, dryer, and dishwasher only when fully loaded.
- Unless a fire is burning, close your fireplace damper to prevent warm air from escaping up the chimney.
Stay Safe: Safety tips from Atmos Energy
- Never us an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home.
- Protect natural gas meters. Natural gas meters are weather-proof; however, to ensure that the meter keeps working smoothly, remove snow and ice from natural gas meters with a broom or brush. Never kick or chip snow and ice away with a hard object.
- Safely remove snow from vents for dryers and other natural gas equipment. Blocked vents for dryers and other gas appliances can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
- Minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Leave faucets running at a trickle, leave cabinet doors open, and close all doors and windows to keep heat inside.
Use all of your senses to detect a natural gas leak.
- SMELL the distinctive “rotten egg” or skunk-like odor that makes natural gas detectable.
- LOOK for blowing dust, bubbling water, or dead vegetation near a gas line.
- LISTEN for a hissing or whistling sound near a gas appliance or a roaring sound near a pipeline.
If you suspect a natural gas leak, move to a safe distance and call 9-1-1 immediately.