Residents of warm-weather areas, such as Jacksonville, grow used to seeing low gas bills every month. Winter, however, can bring an unpleasant sticker shock along with the cooler weather. Many may find their budgets thrown off by this sudden rise in the amount they must pay on a usually low utility.
If your gas bill has suddenly soared towards sky-high amounts, there may be steps you can take to bring it back down to Earth. Should basic saving practices not sufficiently lower your bill, a visit from a professional such as Bill Fenwick Plumbing can save you money and resources!
Examine Your Bill for Clues
The first step to lowering an excessive gas bill is a thorough investigation of the monthly bill. While the most common reason for a higher-than-expected utility bill is increased usage, other factors may be at play. Your bill should list these for your convenience.
Compare the basic price of gas with that of previous months. Gas prices do fluctuate, and the price may have risen since your prior billing cycle. Also compare taxes, usage fees, and overage fees with those of previous months. You may find your utility company has changed how it does business.
An Eye on the Weather
Colder weather will increase your energy bills by nature. As the temperature drops, your reliance on gas to heat your home increases. You can, however, mitigate this gas bill inflation with diligence and good practices.
Check your water heater to be certain you have it set beneath the highest temperature. Water heaters set higher than necessary will burn energy in an attempt to maintain their temperature, even when no one is using the tap. A small change in this setting can add up to big savings.
Verify that your home's weatherstripping does not need replacement. Your home's insulation also plays a large role in conserving energy. If your winter gas bill is higher than you anticipated, you may need to examine your home's ability to hold in heat.
Check your recirculating pump if you have one, to be sure the timer settings haven’t been changed causing it to run longer. Having a recirculating system running longer will cause the heater to cycle more often to keep the water warm.
Set your thermostat a few degrees lower than usual, and break out the sweaters or blankets. Personal heating options such as small space heaters, or warmer clothing, can help you lower your utility bills on the whole.
Call In the Professionals to Check for Leaks
In some cases, high gas bills can indicate a leak from a gas line or appliance. Call your gas company immediately if you smell gas! Such leaks can pose a danger to you and your family.
Tiny leaks in appliances or outdoor lines may not be noticeable with a sniff test. Unexplained high bills may be your only indicator. Should you see no other reason for your increased costs, contact a professional. They can assist with pinning down the cause of your high gas usage.
Bill Fenwick Plumbing has the experience you need to solve high costs associated with an insufficient water heater, or other plumbing needs. Contact us today for more information on how we can help bring your bills back into line.