Operate all pieces of equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  On a natural gas appliance, the color of the flame is a good indicator of incomplete combustion. The flame should always burn blue, not orange or yellow. If the flame is not blue, it may be a sign that the appliance needs adjusting or cleaning.  Never use stoves, ovens or outdoor grills as a source of heat.

For safety, comfort and energy efficiency, schedule an appointment to have a qualified, licensed natural gas contractor perform a thorough inspection of your heating system, including the furnace, water heater, all pilot and burner chambers, venting systems and thermostats. Remember that heating contractors get busier as the weather gets cooler, so get a list of natural gas certified contractors .

Replace your air/furnace filter every month during the heating season to maintain the safe and efficient operation of your heating equipment.

Use the Low or Warm settings on your water heater – never turning it above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will improve efficiency and prevent scalding accidents. If you have an automatic dishwasher and the manufacturer recommends a normal temperature setting for your water heater, ask your plumber about anti-scald devices for shower and sink taps.

Taking showers instead of baths, washing full loads of dishes and using cold water for full loads of laundry can help to reduce hot water use.

If you are replacing appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label for efficiency ratings.

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