A simple task like cleaning equipment and making sure it’s not leaking or obstructed by furniture, carpet or drapes can improve your system’s energy efficiency by 10% while extending the life of your equipment.
3. Install Radiator Reflectors
If you use radiators to heat your home, placing heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators will help prevent you from heating walls unnecessarily and can reduce heat loss.
4. Add Insulation
Wrapping insulation around pipes and your water heater can help minimize heat loss as water runs from the water heater to your faucets.
By adding insulation, you won’t have to wait as long for hot water, you will conserve water, and you can save up to 10% of your total energy costs.
Just be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered on the water heater.
5. Seal Openings
It’s foolish to spend money heating your home if the warm air can escape. Caulk and weather-strip around exterior seams, cracks and openings. Pay extra attention around windows and at points where various exterior materials like wood, brick and vinyl siding meet.
On the inside, caulking and weather-stripping around windows and door frames will cut down on drafts. A draft guard along the bottom of an exterior door also can help prevent heat from escaping.
If you’re not using your chimney, close the damper. Additionally, air sealing and properly insulating the attics, walls, floors over crawl spaces and accessible basement rim joists can save up to 10% of total energy costs.
6. Replace Windows
Consider replacing old windows with high-efficiency Energy Star double-pane windows with protective coatings that reflect heat back into your home during winter. This can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15%.
If such a retrofit is not in your budget, cover your windows with clear plastic film. At a typical cost of $4 to $6 per window, the film creates an insulating air pocket between the plastic and the window, reducing heat loss through windows by between 25% and 50%.
7. Use Fans Wisely
It may sound simple, but using fans judiciously can save energy, too. In just one hour, kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans can pull out a houseful of warm air. So turn ventilation fans off as soon as they have done the job.
Aim keep the humidity level between 30% and 60%. In rooms where you have a ceiling fan, reverse the direction so that they move in a clockwise direction and push hot air near the ceiling toward the floor.
8. Adjust Drapes
When it’s cold outside, keep drapes and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home, and then you can close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
This article is updated from a previous version on realtor.com®.