--Lower the set point on your thermostat during heating season. When you aren't home (at work, or on vacation), and while you sleep, you could set it back 5 degrees or more. While you are home, try just setting it one degree lower than usual--it might save you 3% on your bills. If you have a programmable thermostat, it makes all these changes easier, of course.
--In the winter, try to capture any warmth from the sun that shines in your windows by opening curtains and blinds. Conversely, if it is dark or cloudy, shutting the drapes reduces heat loss from the room out that same window. In the summer, best to keep blinds down on sunny hot days so you don't overheat your home (and make your cooling system work that much harder).
--Get your systems serviced on a regular recommended schedule; at the very least change/clean any filters to keep things running clean.
--Shut and lock windows in the winter---it helps make a tighter air seal.
--Lower the set point on your water heater 5-10 degrees (only if you never run out of hot water). Another thing to look out for---some dishwashers require a certain water temp, so you don't want to go below that.
--Switch out your shower heads for high efficiency ones---they aerate the water so the pressure is good, but you cut water use up to 50%.
--Another bigger project, but if the timing is right: switch out your toilet for one with a WaterSense label. They use 20% less water than current standards but work just as well, and could save you thousands of dollars over the use of the toilet.
--Putting an aerator in your existing sink faucet or getting a new WaterSense faucet could also save you in water usage and hot water bills.
So there you have it--hopefully you will have found at least one of these tips useful!
As I mentioned, we have already started the process in our quest to tighten our house (sorry I keep saying that--it just reminds me of the scene in Knocked Up when Katherine Heigl is not so much told to lose weight--which is illegal--but instead is told to "tighten"). Before the audit, we had already decided we had to replace our screen doors. Both of them had been damaged by our dog since our arrival, and they weren't in the best shape to begin with. They also did nothing as far as keeping out the cold winds blowin'.
|The other one looked the same, but had chicken wire for a screen.|
|The door---we initially preferred a solid (not glass) bottom, but this was the only style available in custom sizes.|