Replace your most frequently used incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. Turn out unnecessary lights. Even if you are leaving the room for as few as 5 minutes. Replace outdoor lighting with a motion-detector equipped bulb or fixture.
Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees and drain any sediment. Check the temperature by running hot water from the tap near the water heater onto a cooking thermometer. If it registers higher than the suggested
temperatures, reset it accordingly. Remember to lower your water heater temperature if you're away for a long period of time. Add insulation or a water heater blanket to your hot-water heater.
Check for and seal any cracks or gaps with caulking and/or weather stripping. Check around pipes, ducts, fans and vents that go through walls, ceilings and floors. On a windy day feel for leaks or use a lit match
to help identify leaks around windows, vents and exterior doors. If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for leaks by looking for spider webs. If there is a web, there is a draft. Consider adding more insulation to duct work, basement walls and the attic.
Turn off computers, monitors, printers, stereo systems, VCRs, DVDs, desk lamps, fans and coffee pots. Even in the "sleep" mode these appliances consume energy.
Set the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and the air-conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting. Also, lower your thermostat while you're sleeping at night and when no one is at home. Consider buying a programmable thermostat.
To help prevent heat loss around windows use plastic window covers or replace old windows with new high performance dual pane windows. Select high efficiency windows with low-e coatings, argon gas fill and insulated spacers.
Clean or replace furnace and air-conditioner filters regularly, following manufacturer's instructions. Keep your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted with annual maintenance. Consider purchasing a new
heating system with a rated efficiency greater than 80%. If you plan to replace your furnace, try to do so before the winter.
Install low-flow shower heads. Shower instead of having a bath and make it a short shower. Fix defective plumbing or dripping faucets. A single dripping hot water faucet can waste 212 gallons of water a month. That not only increases water bills, but also increases the gas or electric bill for heating the water.
Wash only full loads in a dishwasher and use the shortest cycle that will get your dishes clean. Air-dry your dishes on the "energy saver" setting. If operating instructions allow, turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle, open the door and let the dishes dry naturally.
Set your refrigerator thermostat to 3 degrees Celsius, and set your freezer thermostat to -18 degrees Celsius. Defrost refrigerators and freezers before ice buildup becomes 1/4-inch thick. If you have a second refrigerator or
freezer, empty it and switch it off.
On sunny days, open drapes and let the sun in, a natural source of heat. If you have large windows that don't receive direct sun, keep the drapes closed. Close your drapes and blinds during the night. In summer, install shades, awnings or screens to block summer light.
Make sure return air grills and heating vents are clear of furniture, rugs and drapes, as they will interfere with the flow of heat through your home.
Close the damper when the fireplace is not being used and ensure the damper fits properly. Try not to use the fireplace and central heating system at the same time. Caulk around your fireplace everywhere the
brick or stone meets the walls and ceilings. Cover the opening with tight-fitting glass doors.
Apply weather-stripping to operable windows, exterior doors, garage doors, and doors that lead to the attic.
Whenever it's practical, use cold water when washing your clothes, and remember to wash full loads. Also make sure your clothes dryer vents directly outside. Empty your clothes dryer lint screen before running a new
load to obtain maximum efficiency.
Try not to preheat your oven, and cook complete meals of several dishes simultaneously in the oven. Cook on range top burners when practical instead of in the oven. When cooking small-to medium-sized meals, it
generally pays to use smaller microwave ovens, toaster ovens, or slow-cook crock pots. To reduce cooking times, defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator before cooking.
Remove one of the light bulbs from your garage door opener. Turn on the heat in the garage just prior to use; save by not heating it continuously.
Sealing the space behind your light switches and outlet plates with a foam
gasket will prevent air from coming through the wall space. Stop drafts by using a snake under doors.