Pilot lights burn more than you think.
The seasons here change more than the football changes possession in a Broncos game, but by April, we can almost be certain that Old Man Winter will keep to higher elevations in the mountains. That means if you live in Denver or the surrounding area, it's time to extinguish the pilot light on your furnace and your gas fireplaces because doing so can save you $7 to $10 per month.
That's up to $50 in our warmer months, which equates to a tank or two of gas, 30 craft beers, 18 in-theatre films at the 88-drive-in, or a one-way flight on a discount airline – all if you're willing to go down to your basement and twist a knob. Not to mention, it's the environmentally friendly thing to do.
So here's what you need to do ...
First, make sure your thermostat is turned all the way down, or off, as you don't want to mess around with a furnace that's running. Then, locate the heater's gas valve (usually near the bottom of the unit) and turn it to the off position. For your gas fireplace, the valve could be located toward the bottom of the unit, or some systems use a "key" that's near the unit or on the floor.
Should you notice that something is off with either unit (e.g. you notice any cracks or the valve is malfunctioning), take precaution and call a plumber immediately. The same applies if you smell gas after adjusting the valve, as natural gas isn't something to be taken lightly. And should we happen to get snow, just turn the valves back on and carefully re-light your pilot light (may require a match or lighter)!
What are your thoughts? Have you ever tried this? If so, how much did you save? Let us know in the comments below!