The sun creates a lot of heat. Use it.

Open blinds on the windows on the south-side of your home during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home via convection, make sure to close them at dusk to reduce the chill from those cold windows.

 

If you have drafty windows, make sure to cover them.

Use a transparent plastic sheets on the window frames (These can be bought at all major box-stores) or tape plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the winter. If the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame, it will greatly reduce cold-air infiltration. Use drapes, blinds, or shades on windows after weatherizing to prevent any type of drafts from entering.

 

Get a programmable thermostat.

When you are home and awake, keep your thermostat at a comfortable setting. When you’re asleep or out of the home, program your thermostat to turn back 15° for eight+ hours and you will save upwards of 10% on your heating bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature, no more forgetting to change the setting. If your nervous about installing a programmable thermostat, give your local HVAC contractor or energy auditor a call. They will have you set up in no time.

 

Find and Seal Leaks

Have air leaks around utility cut-ins for pipes, gaps around chimneys, and recessed lights properly sealed. Also check unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. This is most likely a job for a professional. Putting sealing materials around wiring or lights can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Remember that duct work goes through many unconditioned areas in the home. If your duct work is leaking and pulling in unconditioned air, this will also hurt your utility bills. Ask a professional about getting your duct work sealed. The savings can be tremendous.

 

Maintain your HVAC system

Schedule service for your heating system. No excuses, just do it. Have your filter replaced once a month or as needed. Educate yourself about maintaining furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. Some common knowledge might prevent you from killing your system. Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters can be tricky.  Make sure to have the flue vent cleaned regularly and remove buildup on inside of the appliance with a wire brush to ensure efficiency.

Reduce fireplace heat loss.

Always keep your fireplace damper closed when it is not in use. If the damper is open, it is the same as keeping a window open in the middle of winter; it allows warm air to pour out of the chimney. When the fireplace is in use, open dampers in the bottom of the firebox or crack an adjoining window around 1”. Make sure to close all doors leading into the room.  If your fireplace is decorative only, make sure to plug and seal the chimney flue permanently. Add caulk or seal around the fireplace hearth to keep air from escaping.

Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs

Use LED holiday lights. They have been around for years. It is the right thing to do for your wallet and for the environment. Also, make sure to turn your lights off before bed. They make simple, inexpensive timers that can save you 50% on your holiday lighting bills.