1.Change Furnace Filters - A dirty filter blocks air flow and make your furnance work harder and cost more money.
2.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. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while
switching to clockwise makes it seem warmer by making an updraft that
sends the warmer air pooled near the ceiling back into the living
space. This can cut your heating costs as much as 10 percent.
3.Winterize Your A/C and Water Lines
- This one's really easy, and it will save you wear and tear on your
cooling system, so it can function at tip-top shape the next time you
need it. Simply drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes, and make
sure you don't have excess water pooled in equipment. If your a/c has a
water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn that off.
4.Turn Down Your Water Heater
- While many conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees F by
installers, most households don't need that level, and end up paying
for hot water that just sits around, slowly cooling. Lowering the
temperature to 120 would reduce your water heating costs by 6 to 10%.
5.Install Storm Doors and Windows
- The simple act of installing a storm door can increase energy
efficiency by 45 percent, by sealing drafts and reducing air flow.
Storm doors also offer greater flexibility for letting light and
ventilation enter your home. Look for Energy Star-certified models.
6.Use an Energy Monitor - Measure your way to savings with an energy monitor.
This device indicates household electrical usage by device in real
time. Now you´ll know if it is time for a new refrigerator or if that
old air conditioner is still saving you money.
7.Use Caulking and Weather-stripping
- 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 weather-stripping.
8.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. If so, they are good
candidates for insulation.
9.Insulate your attic -
One of the easiest ways to save some money is to ensure that you have
at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic. Hot air rises and
through the attic is where it’ll go unless you sufficient insulate it.
The rule of thumb is that if you can see your ceiling joists (the
wooden beams), you don’t have enough because those are often shorter
than 12 inches. You should also reduce the amount of transfer through
your attic stairway by installing an attic stair cover.
10.Turn off exterior water lines
- Chances are you won’t be using any of the water faucets outside of
your home, so shut the valve that allows water to those exterior bibs.
This prevents the water inside from freezing and cracking your pipes.
11.Wrap your water heater
- Since it’ll be cold, it’s more important than ever to invest in a
water heater blanket and warp your water heater so it loses less heat
into the ambient air.
12.Open the blinds in sunny rooms
- Be sure to keep the blinds open on any rooms that get a lot of sun,
ever little bit of extra heat can help keep those bills down. Close
your blind and drapes in the evenings to keep heat in.
13.Get a programmable thermostat - Programmable thermostats
can help you save a ton of money by only turning on when you most need
it. All HVAC systems work the same way – they are either on or off
(there’s no low, medium, or high intensity setting). If you can keep
your system off when you’re not home or when you’re asleep, you can
save yourself a lot of money. They are easy to install and often
break-even (cost vs. savings) within the first year.
14.Consider lowering the temperature setting on your thermostat - A lower temperature means the system is on less, so try lowering the temperature a degree at a time.
15.Replace your HVAC air filter - During
the winter, when the system will run more often, it’s good to replace
it monthly so that you don’t have a dirty air filter ruining the
efficiency of the system.
16.Install window insulators
- Window insulators are simply plastic sheets you tape up over windows
to add an extra layer of protection from the cold. If you have
especially drafty or old windows (especially if they’re single pane),
consider replacing them.
17.Block those leaks
- One of the best ways to winterize your home is to simply block
obvious leaks around your house, both inside and out, experts say. The
average American home has leaks that amount to a nine-square-foot hole
in the wall. First, find the leaks: On a breezy day, walk around inside
holding a lit incense stick to the most common drafty areas: recessed
lighting, window and door frames, electrical outlets. Then, buy door
sweeps to close spaces under exterior doors, and caulk or apply tacky
rope caulk to those drafty spots. Outlet gaskets can easily be
installed in electrical outlets that share a home's outer walls, where
cold air often enters.
18.Don't forget the chimney
- Ideally, spring is the time to think about your chimney, because
"chimney sweeps are going crazy right now, as you might have guessed."
That said, don't put off your chimney needs before using your
other reminder: To keep out cold air, fireplace owners should keep
their chimney's damper closed when the fireplace isn't in use. And for
the same reason, woodstove owners should have glass doors on their
stoves, and keep them closed when the stove isn't in use. An
installation of a chimney draft guard will also prevent the loss of heat via your fireplace.