Replacing your central heat and air filter at least once every three months will reduce the workload on the system — and the amount of energy it uses.
ENERGY STAR windows can lower your energy bills by 12 percent, and you may even be eligible for an income tax credit if you add them to your home. If you can’t afford new windows, seal any gaps around windows and doors.
Adding insulation to your home can reduce heating and air conditioning expenses by up to 20 percent.
Installing insulation in your attic or crawlspace or around heating and cooling ducts is relatively simple. If you do it yourself, buy appropriate protective gear: fiberglass insulation is a major skin and lung irritant.
Other kinds of insulation, including blown-in or sprayed foam, are best left to the professionals. Before you pay for the help, determine where your home needs insulation, and what kind is best for those applications.
From an energy-efficiency standpoint, installing a home automation system may be the most effective way to make your home more energy efficient.
Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature of your home based on the time of day, or by manual control, via an app on your smartphone. Some smart thermostats, like the Google-owned Nest, learn and adapt to your preferences automatically.
Appliance/lighting control allows you to set any light plugged into a smart outlet to turn off at a pre-scheduled time, or, depending on the model you choose, from your smartphone.
It’s easy to spend a lot of money trying to save money, so replace inefficient light bulbs and appliances as they burn out, rather than all at once. Performing a home energy efficiency audit, or hiring a professional to perform one, can help identify the biggest sources of energy waste in your home so you can respond in the most economical manner.