Something to think about as the weather here gets very cold and nasty. Insulate everything.
You can make a difference
ANATOMY OF YOUR HOME ENERGY BILL AND HOW TO SAVE
This section looks at the environmental impact of our energy consumption, some simple ways to use less of it, and the many positive benefits that can result.
Home heating and cooling: 45 percent
Choose energy-efficient furnaces or air conditioners that are the right size for your home.
Properly insulate your home (especially the attic), including the duct system.
Contact your utility company for a free energy audit. If your utility company doesn’t offer free audits, try the do-it-yourself tool, from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Programmable thermostats, insulated windows, and ceiling fans can also help lower your energy bill. A programmable thermostat, for instance, can cut heating and cooling costs as much as 20 percent when you use it to reduce the temperature 5 degrees at night and 10 degrees during the day when heating (or raise it an equal amount when cooling). Watch how we test programmable thermostats and get recommendations on choosing a thermostat (full report available to subscribers).
Hot water: 11 percent
Set your water heater to 120 degrees, it can save up to 10 percent in water-heating costs compared to a 140 degree setting.
Wrap an insulation blanket around your hot water pipes and storage tank.
Replace a showerhead that is more than 10 years old with a low-flow model. It can save up to half the hot water used for showering.