1. Install a setback thermostat: Setback thermostats allow you to automatically start and stop your heating and cooling system thus preventing wasteful and costly expenses due to manual errors or forgetfulness.
For winter operation, consider setting your thermostat at 55 degrees when you are asleep and 68 degrees when you are home.
For every degree you set the temperature back, you will save 3% of your heating bill.
For example, in the winter if you lower your thermostat setting from 72 degrees to 68 degrees during the day, you'll save 12% of your heating bill!
2. Repair and seal those leaky windows: Use caulk, rope caulk, and storm windows to seal out any cold air.
Tighten your window locks.
Repair all broken windows.
Replace all broken glass.
Reglaze any panes where the glazing has deteriorated.
3. Seal drafts around doors: Use V-seal, caulk, door sweeps, and other weather-stripping products to provide a tightly sealed door.
4. Seal leaks and holes in your basement: Use expanding foam or insulation to seal all air leaks.
5. Build a basement under porch partition: Keep cold air from infiltrating through the porch floor and into your basement.
Put a door into the partition wall to access the front of your basement.
6. Seal all leaks into your attic: This includes your attic hatch or stairway to the attic.
7. Increase the insulation in your attic: If you have R-11 or less in your attic, add insulation up to R-38.
Make sure to air seal before you insulate.
8. Buy Energy Star appliances: When replacing your refrigerator, furnace, air conditioner, dishwasher, ceiling fans, etc., replace the appliance with an Energy Star product.
If you're replacing your heater, consider a condensing furnace.
EPA's Energy Star website, www.energystar.gov, has listings of equipment and where it is locally available.
9. Install radiator reflectors and bleed your radiators: Rid air trapped in your radiators by bleeding the lines. If you have a forced air system, replace the filter in your furnace before winter and on a regular basis.
10. Seal leaky ductwork with mastic: Mastic is for ductwork, duct tape is for packages. Seal any leaky ducts.
11. Water heater: Turn the setting on your water heater down to 110 degrees. Install an insulating jacket on your hot water heater and install pipe wrap on at least the first 5 feet of pipe leading off the water heater.
12. Use Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs): Use CFLs instead of incandescent bulbs and save 75% of your lighting cost. CFLs last 8 years on average.
13. Coat your roof with white, acrylic, elastomeric roof coating: Reduce your air conditioning bill by 22% by applying a white, acrylic elastomeric coating to your roof. These coatings can be applied over existing rolled roofing, modified bitumen (aka rubber roofing), metal, and any seamed roofing material. They also extend the life of your roof by at least 10 years! Go to www.roofcoatings.com for more information on coatings.
14. Install a Solar Water Heater: Save 50% to 70% on your water heating costs by installing a solar hot water heater. Federal tax credits make solar hot water heating cost effective. Go to www.phillysolar.org to learn more about solar energy.
15. Conserve Water: Install low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and faucet aerators. Always repair water leaks as soon as they are detected.
Energy Conservation is a wise investment.