Have you recently moved into a rental equipped with a natural gas furnace? Or have you ever lived in a home where you were responsible for the care of a natural gas furnace? If not, there are a few basics that you should know to protect yourself from overpaying for gas and prevent gas leaks from occurring. Here, you'll learn the basics to help you adapt.

Take Pictures of the System ASAP

Taking pictures of as much of the system as you can will help to protect you from being falsely accused of causing damage to the system. It will give you a leg up if the landlord was to say that something was wrong when it really wasn't. To guarantee that there's no issue later about the validity of the pictures, have the landlord accompany you while you take the pictures of the heating and cooling system, as well as other appliances throughout the rental.

Install a Smart Thermostat

You'll probably need to ask permission before you do it, but installing a smart thermostat will help to cut the energy waste during the summer and winter.

Smart thermostats can be set to change the temperature when you're sleeping or not at home. This way, you can maintain a comfortable temperature when you're awake or at home and spend less money heating and cooling an empty home. Some of these gadgets even link to your smartphone — you can change the temperature before you arrive at home or if you're going to be later than you had expected.

Close the Gas Valve in the Summer

Your furnace won't be needing any gas during the summer months, so the gas valve feeding into the furnace can be closed. This will help with two things: you can shut off the pilot light to avoid it accidentally going out and filling the home with gas, and it will decrease the gas use during the summer.

Filter Changes

You will have to discuss who is responsible for changing the furnace filter with the landlord. Some landlords will provide a stockpile of filters for you to use to change the filter, but others prefer to come out and do it themselves. Find out what's expected of you so you don't end up running a furnace with a dirty filter.

Talk with a local HVAC technician to learn if there's anything else for you to do as a tenant living in a rental home heated by natural gas and to learn more about the best heating and air conditioning options in your area