When buying new appliances, be sure to purchase energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® labeled models.
Set the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and the air-conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting. 3 percent to 5 percent more energy is used for each degree the furnace is set above 68 degrees and for each degree the air conditioner is set below 78 degrees.
If your old air conditioner is on its way out replace it with ENERGY STAR® labeled energy-efficient model.
Use compact fluorescent lamps. You can lower your lighting bill by converting to energy-efficient low-wattage compact fluorescent lighting and fixtures.
Replace old windows with new high performance dual pane windows.
Clean or replace furnace and air-conditioner filters regularly, following manufacturer's instructions.
Set the water heater thermostat at 140 degrees or "normal." If you have a dishwasher. Otherwise, set it at 120 degrees or "low." Check your dishwasher to see if you can use 120 degree water. Follow the manufacturer's direction on yearly maintenance to extend the life of your unit.
Fix defective plumbing or dripping faucets. A single dripping hot water faucet can waste 212 gallons of water a month. That not only increases water bills, but also increases the gas or electric bill for heating the water.