It has been a crazy winter, and some people that have experienced relatively mild temperatures are in for a big change. Single digit and below zero temperatures are going to stick around for a little while, and you’re going to running your heat for a few months. Too many home owners find themselves having to make a choice between staying comfortably warm and saving money on their heating bill. What would you do if you found out that there is a way to keep heating costs down, and that it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort? It may sound crazy, but this winter you won’t have to make the choice between comfort and cash. Follow these tips this winter and you won’t dread having to pay your energy bills!
Adjust temperatures according to time
Unless you work from home, there’s at least 8 hours a day where you’re running heat to warm a house that isn’t full of people. If you really want to see a difference in your energy costs, lower the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees when you’re at work (or when the kids are at school). If you’re feeling brave enough to cut it back a few degrees when you’re also sleeping, you could save a whopping 20% on your energy bill.
Check your ducts and vents
Think about how often you have to dust and vacuum your home to keep it spic and span. Now think about the last time you took time to change your HVAC filters and clean out your vents. Your heating system accumulates just as much dirt, dust, and grime as any other area of your home. All of that filth could be leading to some blockages in vents, and that means that heat and air isn’t circulating properly around the house. Sometimes a good cleaning is all you need to get your HVAC bills under control. Replace all of the air filters in your home, and make it a point to at the very least change them once a year.
Remember your water bill
Did you know that water heaters can account for 14 to 25 percent of your monthly energy bill? Anybody that runs a residential propane service knows that heating water can require a lot of gas and other forms of energy. You may be tempted to crank up the hot water when you shower in the winter, but you should resist the urge if you want to save money. If you can’t part with your hot showers, consider making sure that the water temperature doesn’t go above 120 degrees.
Residential propane tanks are used for many purposes. People choose to use propane for anything from a few small appliances like a BBQ setup or an outdoor heater, to whole home energy needs. Many houses use propane as their cooking gas, as well as to heat water and to heat the home. With this wide range in usage, there is also a wide range in propane tank sizes and options—and one of the most important to many homeowners is whether they want to locate their tank above ground or below ground.
Not all residential propane tanks are available in underground designs. Many smaller tanks, for example, are meant to be portable and must be taken to a propane supplier to be swapped out. Even tanks as big as a so called “100 pound tank,” which is nearly as tall as a man and are often refilled by a propane delivery service, are designed for above ground use. This is because they are still relatively small and easy to visibly obscure if you don’t want a propane tank to be part of your landscaping.
As you move into large scale tanks, however, an underground setup becomes attractive. For an individual homeowner, the types of tank sizes we’re referring to are 500 gallon tanks (about 10 feet long) and 1,000 gallon tanks (16 feet long). These are the ideal tank sizes if you use propane as your primary energy source in your home. But because they are so big, they are hard to obscure with landscaping. This is the main reason both are available in above ground or underground setups. Both styles have their advantages:
Above Ground Propane Tanks
- Quick and easy to set up—simply “drag and drop.”
- No excavation required.
- Easy to swap out in the future
Underground Propane Tanks
- Does not interfere with appearance of landscaping
- More contained if there is a leak or damage
- May increase the perceived value of your home over an above-ground tank
Different homeowners choose above or below ground for different reasons, and there is no wrong answer. It’s a question of your priorities and what you prefer: the elegance of an underground system, or the convenience of above ground. If you do decide to go with an underground tank, discuss this with your propane tank and make sure the tank you buy is meant for this. Remember to follow all guidelines when installing your underground tank. This will protect the tank from water and make sure you can access it properly for maintenance and refills.
Which type of residential propane tank would you prefer?