1. Save 10 percent or more on your energy costs simply by plugging any air leaks around your windows and doors. Caulk and weather-strip all seams, cracks, and openings.
  2. Clean or replace your air filters. Dirty air filters can cause an AC unit to work harder than necessary, which can increase your energy bills. A clean furnace filter can cut your heating bill by 5 to 15 percent.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat to save up to $180 a year in energy costs. The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Citizen’s Guide has found that installing a setback, or programmable thermostat, can give you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to cutting energy costs. A typical setback thermostat costs around $9.34 per ton of carbon saved and can save a household up to 15 percent on its energy bill.
  4. Choose ENERGY STAR appliances. Energy Star, which is overseen by the EPA and Department of Energy (DOE), updates its standards pretty regularly in its quest to encourage and to reward the increases in efficiency that often accompany better technology. The most recent update occurred in 2001, and the next update is scheduled for 2014. Products generally have to use 20 to 30 percent less energy than their conventional counterparts to earn an Energy Star label.
  5. Upgrade your water heater to save energy. Reducing the use of hot water will help save energy. Depending on your budget for upgrades, you may consider replacing a water heater with a more efficient one, or adding a low cost water heater jacket to help retain heat within the tank for longer periods of time. Depending on the hot water heater, you may have to unhook your unit, drain it and reinstall it, but you’ll save 4% to 9% on your water heating bill with the jacket.