Keeping the Heat On : Seasonal Gas Heating
The first thing you think of when you think of Savannah is not turning up the thermostat. However overnight temperatures drop into the low 40s and can even dip below freezing. Heat is a necessity particularly in older homes that have poor insulation.
Many homes have electric heat that is on through out the year and comes on with the flip of a switch. Yet this is not the case in many homes that have a gas furnace, which is only used in the winter. Here are some tips on making a smooth transition for seasonal heaters.
The main problem with turning the gas on and off for the season is timing. Historically, the fixed rate has been less expensive than a variable gas rate. Contracts for fixed rates run in intervals of six months and there is NO reason to wait until it is too cold to stand being inside to call them. Trust me, I speak from experience! The beginning of October through March is sufficient if you fall under a six-month contract. If you wait until the end of November, like me, you’re still stuck in a 6-month contract until sometimes in April. Not to mention the cold feet that has already been endured when ‘it wasn’t cold enough’ to turn on the heat.
Insulation does make a difference.
Most of the older homes in Savannah, particularly in Midtown, that are connected to gas heat are poorly insulated. Proper insulation ensures that your home actually retains This means that after you hear the hum of the forced air shut off, your house will not immediately become a frigid icebox again. You will spend less time longing for that glorious sound and warm breeze to hit your face, because your house will already be warm.
There are different types of insulation and different places in the home that need it. Everyone always thinks of the attic where the heat is escaping, but if you’re on an insulated crawlspace where else is that cold coming from. Older windows are a big issue too; some people recommend the match trick, where if you see the flame flicker then there’s a draft.
These are all more costly long-term fixes to the problems that older homes present, but all worthy of attention.
Shop Around for Rates and Service
There are a number of companies in Savannah that manage the gas coming in to your home. Shop around not only for the best deals, but also the best customer service. If a sales rep gives you low quality service when setting up, how do you think it will be continuing throughout the year?
My greatest piece of advice, because I speak from experience: Do not get angry at the gas company and decide to not heat your home. It makes for a cold winter where your dog will hate you and no one will want to visit. It can be a frustrating process waiting on hold, trying to get information and compare rates and fees. Shop around for a company that wants to work with you and answer the questions you have.