1. Dodge the Draft(s)
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use
2. Change Furnace Filters
Yes it’s easy to forget, but it’s important to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season
3. Run Fans in Reverse
Most people think of fans only when they want to be cool, but many ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades.
4. Winterize Your A/C and Water Lines
This one’s really easy, and it will even save you a few pennies next summer, too: Simply drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes, and make sure you don’t have excess water pooled in equipment.
5. Turn Down Your Water Heater
While many conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees F by installers, most households don’t need that much steam, and end up paying for it — in dollars and the occasional scalding burn
6. Install Storm Doors and Windows
The simple act of installing a storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45%, by sealing drafts and reducing air flow
7. Give Your Heating System a Tune-Up
You probably already know that cars need periodic tune-ups in order to run their best. Well the same is true for heating equipment. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5% of heating costs.
8. Mind That Thermostat
It’s easy to forget to turn down the heat when you leave the building, but doing so is one of the surest ways to save money. Most households shell out 50 to 70% of their energy budgets on heating and cooling
9. Put Up Some Plastic
For just a few dollars, pick up a window insulation kit at your local hardware or discount store. Don’t worry — properly installed, window plastic is essentially invisible.
10. Use an Energy Monitor
Such a device indicates household electrical usage in real time and projects your monthly bill. Research has found that such info leads consumers to reduce their electricity consumption significantly.
11. Use Caulking and Weatherstriping
Simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5% to 30% a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means it pays to seal up gaps with caulking and weatherstripping.
12. Put on a Sweater
Make like Jimmy Carter and dress warmer for winter, even inside. Gone are the days (for most of us at least) when we can afford to lounge around in our underwear while it’s frosty outside.
13. Boost Insulation
It may not seem sexy, but insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and money at home. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls, and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered.
14. Insulate Your Pipes
Pay less for hot water by insulating pipes. That can also help decrease the chance of pipes freezing, which can be disastrous. Check to see if your pipes are warm to the touch.
15. Seal Those Ducts
Moving even deeper into your home’s infrastructure … one encounters ductwork. Studies show 10% to 30% of heated (or cooled) air in an average system escapes from ducts.
16. Take Advantage of Tax Credits
A host of tax credits can help homeowners install renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
17. Choose the Right Contractor
To choose which project to tackle first, it may help to try perform your own energy audit, or, if some of these improvements prove to be a little ambitious for you, hire an expert.
18. Get Creative and Go Alternative
All of which require a front-end investment that typically pays itself off in energy savings over a number of years.
19. Upgrade to an Efficient Furnace
Thankfully it’s not something you have to do every year (or even every decade), but if your furnace is old you could save a lot of money in the long run (and improve your home’s value) by upgrading to a new unit.