1. Buy a programmable thermostat and set lower temperatures when no one is at home and during the night. Program and preset the required temperatures so the thermostat will adjust itself using the settings before you reach home or before you wake up. This can save heating bills to more than $180 annually. During warmer days switch off the heating system and open the windows facing south to let the rooms be heated by the sun and close windows and drapes in the evenings to tract the heat inside.
2. Seal and insulate ducts, cracks and any gaps surrounding windows and doors with aerosol sealants, caulk, weather sealing or silicone and also on the openings where pipes enter and exit the house so you can keep away cold draughts. Close doors and vents to the rooms which are not being used and also the attic entry. Insulate windows, walls, floors and the roof especially the attic and the unheated basement. Insulating the garage door also helps warm the rooms near and above the garage. Cover all the openings under the exterior doors and the attic door with blankets. Cover windows with plastic sheeting and use tape to seal off windows and doors of unused rooms. Check the wall where it is connected to the floor and the ceiling and seal those openings.
3. Get your water heater serviced regularly. Do not wait until it needs major repairs. A well maintained water heater saves energy costs. There are water heater covers which save wastage of heat. Put a water heater cover on the heater and insulate the area below the water heater. When you need to replace buy an energy-efficient water heater especially ENERGY STAR-qualified water heater which saves energy by more than 50%.
4. When you use a clothes’ washer use low temperature water. Many clothes do not need to be washed in hot water. Use cold or warm water and dry the clothes on the laundry line or hang them on the rack which you can move inside at night. You should buy ENERGY STAR certified washers which preserve energy and reduce your heating bills significantly. You should check the off-peak times when electricity rates are lower and wash clothes at that time.
5. Open the oven door after baking so the heat can warm the kitchen and other nearby rooms.
6. Dress warmly during winter so you will not need high heating temperatures in the house.
7. Clean air filters monthly and replace them every 3 months. Clogged air filters waste a lot of energy if they are not cleaned regularly.
8. Lower the water heater to 120 degrees and the water heating bill will be less. Install a low-head shower head to save water and electricity by as much as 50% if you take short showers instead of baths. You can install a Tankless shower which heats the water as it is needed. This will save on heating costs significantly.