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Set thermostat at 68º F or lower in the winter and 78º F or higher in the summer. Each degree higher or lower can significantly impact your heating and cooling costs.
Replace an old thermostat with a programmable model. A programmable thermostat can automatically raise or lower the temperature of your home at different times of the day. Buy a programmable thermostat specifically designed for your HVAC unit.
Inspect heating and cooling equipment as recommended by the manufacturer. If you have a forced-air furnace, the filters should be checked every month and replaced when dirty. Have a professional check and clean your equipment every year.
Caulk around windows, outside doors, baseboards, exhaust fans, dryer vents, places where pipes and wires enter the house and where the walls meet the foundation. A crack just one-sixteenth of an inch wide around an average-sized window lets as much heated air escape as a three-inch square hole in the wall.
Upgrade attic insulation to a minimum of R-38 (12-14 inches). If you're having a new roof installed, consider adding ENERGY STAR® certified shingles.
Switch to CFLs and LEDs. CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. On average, LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Check ducts for tears, falling or crushing. Repair with mastic (a plaster-like substance available at local hardware stores). Insulate ducts and hot water pipes passing through unheated areas like the garage, basement and attic. Use duct wrap insulation or batt insulation and duct tape.
Use draft guards at the bottom of doors that open into areas that are not air-conditioned or heated.
Replace old appliances with ENERGY STAR® appliances. Having an energy-efficient refrigerator, dishwasher and clothes washer can save energy. ENERGY STAR® appliances may cost more initially, but will save on operating costs.
When shopping for a new gas range, consider a pilotless ignition system because it uses less gas than models with a continuously burning pilot. When shopping for a new clothes dryer, consider a "moisture sensing" device that shuts off automatically when your clothes are dry.
Shade your air-conditioning unit to increase its efficiency by up to 10 percent during peak periods.