- Investing in a weatherproofing kit can reduce your energy costs up to 20 percent
- Keep winter costs low by checking for air leaks
- Don't overinsulate and only change your filter when it's dirty
Hunt for air leaks.
A total home energy audit includes this service, but it's pricey. Instead, try the Black & Decker Thermal Leak Detector, which identifies drafty areas in a home. Once you seal the problem spots, you could save up to 20 percent on energy costs.
Depending on where you live, you may not need insulation with the highest R-value (a measure of its ability to resist heat flow). Instead of outfitting an 800-square-foot attic in Florida with high-quality R-60 fiberglass loose fill use R-30, which is sufficient in warmer climates and will help save money. To find out how much insulation you need, go to energystar.gov.
Change your filter only when it's dirty.
Install a whistle on your furnace that alerts you when your filter is partially clogged and will soon need to be replaced, says Ed Pollock, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Opt for a weatherproofing kit.
If you buy plastic shrink wrap, weather stripping, and electrical-outlet sealers individually, you'll pay about 30 percent more than if you buy them in a set. Use all the components and you'll reduce your energy costs by up to 20 percent.