You could get upgraded insulation installed in all the walls of your home, or buy a new high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner. These improvements would certainly reduce your energy costs - but they each require a significant investment.
What if you don't have the budget?
There are a lot of little things you can do to make a big difference in your heating or cooling bill, Here are just a few examples:
- Turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees in winter. (And turn it up a few notches in the summer). Chances are, you'll hardly notice the difference in comfort, and you'll cut your heating/cooling costs by about 5%.
- Do you need the air conditioner on all the time during the summer months? Consider turning it way up, or completely off, at night when it's cooler outside.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. That way, you'll be able to set up a schedule that uses less heating/cooling energy while you're out of the house.
- Let the sunshine in through windows in the winter (and block the sun where possible in the summer). "Passive heat gain" can contribute up to 20% of the heat in your home. Best of all, the sun is free.
- Use energy efficient lights throughout your home. These can cut the cost of lighting by up to 40%!
- Be careul with outside lights, which can use a lot of energy! Turn them off before you go to bed or, better still, use programmable outside lighting that can be set to turn off automatically.
These are just a few ideas for reducing your energy bill. If you do some research, you can probably discover many other ways to cut your cost. It's worth the effort !