You can make your home more energy-efficient and save money in many ways.
When using the fireplace turn down your heater. When you're not using it, close the damper to prevent cold air from coming in.
Draw the curtains at night to block the chill from a cold window. Keep the windows covered on sunny days during the summer, and uncover them on sunny days during the winter to benefit from some free solar heating.
Use a programmable thermostat. Proper use of a programmable thermostat can reduce your cooling costs by up to 20 percent.
Consider purchasing a ceiling fan, which will allow you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature.
Ensure that ducts throughout the system are sealed and insulated--up to 30 to 40 percent of your cooling (and heating) energy can be lost through leaks or when uninsulated ducts pass through uncooled spaces such as attics and garages.
As with any major appliance or part in your home, proper maintenance is vital for ensuring that your gas furnace and air conditioning unit will last as long as it should. Routine inspections should be done from a qualified service provider, so you can get the most out of your home's furnace and air conditioning unit.
When you're at home, set the furnace thermostat at 68°F or lower, health permitting. Three to five percent more energy is used for each degree the furnace is set above 68°F. Just two degrees lower will save you money and reduce emissions by 6 percent. You might not even feel the difference, especially at night or when you're out of the house.
When you leave the house, set the thermostat to 56°F. By turning your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for 8 hours; you can save 5-15 percent a year on your heating bill.
Caulk gaps and cracks around drafty door frames and windows to prevent cold air from entering your home. Caulk is inexpensive and can be bought at most hardware stores where you can also learn you how to apply it.
Wrap older water heaters with an insulating jacket or blanket to minimize excess heat loss and, don't forget to leave the air intake vent uncovered.
By air sealing and properly insulating the attics, walls, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists, a savings of up to 10 percent of total energy costs can be achieved.