A novel adjusting method for improving gas turbine (GT) efficiency and surge margin (SM) under part-load conditions is proposed. This method adopts the inlet air heating technology, which uses the waste heat of low-grade heat source and the inlet guide vane (IGV) opening adjustment. Moreover, the regulation rules of the compressor inlet air temperature and the IGV opening are studied comprehensively to optimize GT performance. A model and calculation method for an equilibrium running line is adopted based on the characteristic curves of the compressor and turbine. The equilibrium running lines calculated through the calculation method involve three part-load conditions and three IGV openings with different inlet air temperatures. The results show that there is an optimal matching relationship between IGV opening and inlet air temperature. For the best GT performance of a given load, the IGV could be adjusted according to inlet air temperature. In addition, inlet air heating has a considerable potential for the improvement of part-load performance of GT due to the increase in compressor efficiency, combustion efficiency, and turbine efficiency as well as turbine inlet temperature, when inlet air temperature is lower than the optimal value with different IGV openings. Further, when the IGV is in a full opening state and an optimal inlet air temperature is achieved by using the inlet air heating technology, GT efficiency and SM can be obviously higher than other IGV openings. The IGV can be left unadjusted, even when the load is as low as 50%. These findings indicate that inlet air heating has a great potential to replace the IGV to regulate load because GT efficiency and SM can be remarkably improved, which is different from the traditional viewpoints.