1. Lower your thermostat at night and whenever the house is unoccupied. Close off and don’t heat unoccupied rooms (unless you have a heat pump). If you consistently set your thermostat back at night 10 degrees Fahrenheit, you may reduce your heating bill by 10-20 percent.
2. Lower the thermostat and dress warmer. As little as 1 to 3 degrees (F) makes a noteworthy difference in energy consumption.
3. Lower the temperature on your electric water heater to 120 (F) degrees. Turn it off when leaving for extended periods of time. Electric water heaters can be set on timers; gas heaters must be set manually.
4. Set refrigerator temperatures between 37 and 40 degrees (F). Clean the coils. Keep the refrigerator stocked; it takes more energy to cool an empty refrigerator.
5. Consider replacing your older model refrigerator, especially if older than 10 years. Older models can often use over 3 times the energy of newer models.
6. Wash full loads of dishes and air dry.
7. When washing clothes, use warm or cold water and rinse with cold. Air dry clothes, but not indoors as this creates unwanted mold and moisture problems.
8. Shut off lights, computers and other electronic appliances when you’re not using them. Many computer monitors have a sleep mode setting which, when activated, greatly reduces energy consumption.
9. Always use the bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans while showering or cooking and baking to avoid potential moisture problems.
10. Use a microwave or toaster oven for smaller items.
11. Install a low-flow showerhead. Showers use less hot water than baths; also consider takingshorter showers.
12. Close your fireplace damper and seal the opening shut when not in use.
13. During the heating season, open south-facing window coverings (e.g. drapes, blinds, etc.)
14. during the day. Close all window coverings at night to keep the heat in.
15. Install foam gaskets behind electric-outlet and switch-plate covers. 16. Examine and adjust, if necessary, weather stripping, door sweeps, and thresholds.
17. _ Install an automatic setback thermostat that adjusts room temperature according to your daily schedule. If you have a heat pump, be certain to use a special thermostat designed specifically for heat pumps.
Steps that cost more, but pay for themselves in two years or less:
18. _ Install do-it-yourself weather stripping and caulking toseal air leaks. Seal all perimeter wall penetrations and ceiling and floor penetrations to stop all air movement between heated and unheated spaces.
19. _ Install do-it-yourself storm windows that cost less than $1/sq.ft. such as flexible vinyl glazing.
20. _ Use motion sensors or timers for outdoor lighting. You’ll still have security and save energy.