Useful tips on how to use natural gas and other energy resources wisely and spend less

The saying ‘chariots are made in winter and sleds in summer’ reminds us of popular wisdom. Therefore, now, before the start of the heating season, it is the right time to maintain the boiler and system, water heater and to evaluate other energy consumption habits, as well as to perform well-thought-out work to reduce costs and improve the energy efficiency of the home.

# Review the usage habits of different devices – details matter

If you like to work in the kitchen, then you can save a little natural gas during cooking as well. When cooking a meal in the oven, remember that in most recipes, which require oven preheating, an electric oven is meant, as it takes longer to heat up. The gas oven heats up faster; it usually takes up to about 10 to 15 minutes, so this time can be shortened, and gas saved. Also, the fire on the stove can be turned off a while before the food is ready, as the heat in the pot with a tight-fitting lid will be sufficient.

An interesting fact: too frequent opening of the oven is not very energy friendly. Each time we open the oven, the temperature can drop by about 3 oC. Of course, the longer we keep it open, the more the heat will decrease. At that moment, the device will consume more energy to reach the set heat again.

# A dishwasher saves water, gas, and time

Water heating can consume 14%-25% of the total energy in a household. Meanwhile, the dishwasher requires less hot water than if you wash the dishes by hand. As a result, the gas consumption required to heat the water is reduced. However, it is important for the dishwasher model to be energy efficient!

# Service the boiler, water heater, and the entire system at least once a year

Just as car owners service their vehicles at least once a season, the same applies to the heating system. The equipment shall be serviced at least once a year, as even a few millimetres of soot and a poorly adjusted burner consumes five to ten percent more energy. Similarly, gas consumption will increase if any of the components of the heating system, such as pumps, filters, and valves, do not work properly.

Summer, when heating is practically unnecessary, is the best time for general cleaning, as well as the masters will be more accessible both in terms of time and price than at the beginning of the heating season. At the same time, you can inspect the condition of the ventilation openings or the entire ventilation system as well, if such is installed in the home. For a house to be truly energy efficient, both insulated constructions and good ventilation are equally important.

# Reduce humidity in the house

Although now, it seems that the heating season is far away, folk wisdom suggests that sleds should be made in the summer. Therefore, you can gradually prepare for the heating season as well. It turns out that if the humidity in the room is too high, then we might feel like we are colder, and we might just want to turn the thermostat up. Therefore, it is worth keeping the humidity in the home at the level of 40-50%, so that less resources are spent on heating.

# Use an automatic or programmable thermostat to control the temperature

Comfortable temperature in the room is particularly important! However, it should be remembered that reducing the temperature of a heated room by one degree can save up to five percent of energy consumption.

Radiator thermostatic valves can be used to control the temperature in each room. However, it would also be worthwhile equipping the natural gas boiler with an automatic or programmable thermostat, if one does not already exist. This allows the temperature to be reduced a little, i.e., by two or three degrees; for example, at a time when all the occupants are at work or school and there is only a cat or dog at home. Experts estimate that in cases where the heating operates at a slightly lower temperature for most of the day, natural gas consumption can be reduced by 7-10%.

As you can see, these supposedly small steps during the heating season can help to significantly reduce energy consumption. Now, in the summer, it is worth making sure that the thermostat can be set as it will be desirable in the autumn and winter. It may need to be repaired or even replaced.

# Reduce the air leakage, insulate house structures

Windows, doors, attics, basements – these are the places where the greatest heat losses tend to occur. Up to a quarter of the heat can escape through the windows. Therefore, it would be worth inspecting everything each summer to check for any insulation work that might be done. Doors and windows may need to be resealed. Maybe it is time to change the windows or tidy up the attic. Properly insulated rooms can save up to 20% on your heating bill. Experts remind you that, when insulating the walls, it is not advisable to block the ventilation openings.

When it comes to the indoor microclimate, one shall remember that in summer, it is recommended to keep the curtains closed, not allowing the warm rays of the sun to heat the premises. In winter, the sun helps to warm the room naturally.

# Replace heating systems with more energy efficient ones

All appliances end up out-of-date, and this happens to gas boilers as well. If the boiler is over 15 years old and it has not been very carefully maintained, it is likely that the appliance will no longer work efficiently and will reach the end of its service life. Modern natural gas heating devices are undeniably more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

When buying a new boiler, the maximum capacity is determined by the amount of heat required on the coldest days of the year. A well-insulated house would need a boiler with a maximum capacity of at least 15-20 kW. Attention should also be paid to the modulation depth of the burner power. The larger it is, the more efficiently the fuel is used. On the other hand, if you are planning to change the water heater, you should consider the needs of your family so as not to buy a larger boiler than is needed.

# Report the current meter readings regularly

Another way to spend more wisely is to report current natural gas readings of the households, as it is the only way to record the actual natural gas consumption.
For the convenience of customers, from June 2021 one can quickly and easily submit a reading without registration, indicating the subscriber number only.

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The Gaso service tariff is intended for a regulation period of 4.5 years (from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2025).


The changes are related to both the increase in the natural gas prices in the global markets and the amendments to the service tariff of distribution system operator Gaso (hereinafter – Gaso), which was approved by the Public Utilities Commission (hereinafter – PUC) on 30 April this year.