Taking steps to conserve energy can cut your electricity bill by as much as $600 a year. Don't believe it? Up to 30 percent of a home's energy usage can be lost by drafts alone! Do a home energy audit to pinpoint the best ways to reduce your utility bills this winter.
Stop drafts. Fix the drafts under your doors and windows. For a quick fix, place a rolled bath towel under drafty doors and on windowsills. You can also purchase a door draft stopper for around $5.
Reverse your fans. Many ceiling units come with a switch to reverse the directions of the blades. Switching your blades to clockwise will help circulate warm air pooled near the ceiling back into the living space. This small change can cut your heating cost as much as 10 percent.
Turn down your water heater. Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees F. Water heaters are usually unnecessarily set to 140 degrees F by installers. Lowering the temperature would reduce your water heating costs by anywhere from 6 to 10 percent.
Lower the heat when you leave. Don’t forget to turn down your heat when you're not home! For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you'll save between 1 and 3 percent on your utility bills. If you’re the forgetful type, consider investing in a programmable thermostat! They are widely available for as little as $50. Note: If you have a heat pump system, it's best to leave your thermostat at a set temperature. Moving the thermostat temperature up one degree can actually cause the system to waste more energy.
Install window plastic. You can find window plastic at your local hardware store and if it’s properly installed, it’s essentially invisible. The plastic will help to add a buffer against drafts and improve your home’s ability to hold heat.