Easy and affordable ways to save money on your gas bill

The Dominion Energy Wise Guy is here to show us simple things we can do around our houses to save money on our gas bills.

There are some really easy things we can do that can make a big difference. Best of all, a lot of these things are affordable.

Caulking Around Windows: 

Caulking around windows. Surprisingly, we find a lot of gaps between windows and window frames where you can feel cold air coming into the house. Just as that cold air comes in, the air you paid to heat is going out. For just a few dollars, you can take this caulk and run a bead along those gaps around the windows and seal any leaks.

Weather Stripping: 

Those same types of gaps can also be found around doors to the outside. If you`re not sure, feel around the closed door for cold air. Another great way to make sure the door has a good seal is to darken the room and see if you see any light coming from around and under the door.

If so, weather stripping like this is a good fix ... and it`s only a few dollars. If you have a gap under the door, you may have an adjustable threshold. If so, a few turns with a screwdriver will raise the threshold enough to create a tighter fit.

Furnace Filter: 

Like a car, every furnace has a filter. If you forget to change it, the filter can become so dirty that air can barely pass through it. If airflow is restricted, then your furnace has to stay on longer to heat your home. The longer it stays on, the higher your bill.

Check your filter once a month and change it, if necessary. A clean filter will allow your furnace to breathe freely, operate efficiently and you`ll find your house warms up quickly. You`ll feel more comfortable, conserve energy and save money.

Setback Thermostat or Programmable Thermostat:

Remember the old, round thermostats everyone used to have in their homes? Well, believe it or not, there are still a lot of them out there. They work great. You set them and that`s it.

Then these setback thermostats hit the market. They allowed us to program a few different times and our furnaces would operate only during those times. The technology helped regulate furnace operation and helped us become more energy efficient.

Smart Thermostats:

Now we have these. A smart thermostat does everything these older thermostats and more with less effort on our part. Let`s say you leave the house for work and forget to turn the thermostat down - the furnace is still working hard. With this, you can go to my smartphone and adjust the thermostat just like that, and the furnace just shuts off. It also learns your comfort level and adjusts accordingly.

A Home Energy Plan from Dominion Energy:

For $25, they will send one of their energy experts to your house to conduct an energy-efficiency inspection and provide you with a report of specific things you can do to get the most out of your energy dollar.

Their expert also will provide you with some free energy-saving items such as pipe insulation for the water heater, efficiency-flow shower heads and faucet tips (if you`ll use them). The expert will also include a list of rebate-qualified appliances and measures that can really help you lower your bill.

If you follow through on any of the rebate-qualified recommendations, the $25 charge for the home energy plan will be refunded to you as a credit on your gas bill. Basically, the service is free- that`s how much they care about helping our customers use energy wisely.

For more information, call Dominion Home Energy at            1-888-324-3221 or visit www.dominionenergy.com