1. CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTERS
Changing furnace filters is an easy task to miss, but extremely important for allowing a steady airflow and decreasing your home’s energy demand. If you will be changing your filter monthly (which is recommended), set a calendar reminder so that it doesn’t fall behind your other routine checks.
If your entire furnace is in need of replacement, it will be expensive. Thus, replacing an inefficient burner will save you every month through the heating season, according to Pro Exteriors.
2. REVERSE YOUR CEILING FANS
Counterclockwise rotation will produce a cool breeze, while clockwise rotation keeps the room warmer. Many ceiling units come with a helpful switch that reverses the direction of the blades. In doing so, the air being pooled near the ceiling circulates back out into the room. With this simple trick, you’re able to cut costs as much as 10%.
3. WINTERIZE YOUR WATER LINES
This simple hack will save you money next summer too. Simply drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes and make sure you don't have excess water pooled in equipment. Frozen water lines are the last thing you’ll want to deal with midwinter. If your A/C has a water shutoff valve, turn that off as well.
4. TURN DOWN YOUR WATER HEATER
While many conventional water heaters are set to 140°F by installers, most households don't typically need that much steam--and end up paying for it. Lowering the temperature to 120°F will reduce your water heating costs.
5. MIND THE DRAFT
Adopt the use of an inexpensive draft snake--or even better, make one yourself. Using anything from an old towel wrapped length-wise, to scraps of fabric tied together and filled with sand can do the trick.
6. CHECK YOUR THERMOSTAT
Most households spend 50-70% of their energy budgets on heating and cooling, so why pay extra to heat an empty home? Keep a sign next to the door to remind anyone leaving the house to turn down the temperature. Some homeowners may want to take it a step further and install programmable thermostats.
7. UTILIZE CAULKING AND WEATHER STRIPPING METHODS
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5-30% a year. Take a close look at places where two different building materials meet, such as corners, near chimneys and where pipes or wires exit. Caulking or weatherstripping should be placed wherever there is a draft. Holding a candle near potential weak-points can help spot where the draft is coming from--look for the flame being pulled or flickering out suddenly in certain direction.
8. SEAL THE DUCTS
According to EnergyStar, homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems lose about 20-30% of the air that moves through the duct system as a result of leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. As such, it may be worth it to hire a professional technician to test your duct system and fix any problems.