Don’t let heat escape through poorly fitted windows and doors. Seal all leaks with caulking and weather stripping. If you have single-pane windows, replace them with energy-efficient, double-pane, gas-filled windows with low-e coating.
Add clear plastic sheeting to windows to cut down on drafts.
Inspect your insulation. At minimal cost, you can upgrade insulation in your exterior walls, crawl spaces, basement, and attic.
Consider installing roof vents and inlets in your attic to improve ventilation.
Be kind to your hard-working furnace. Before each heating season, have it serviced by a qualified technician. A tune-up could save you 3 percent to 10 percent in heating costs.
Check your furnace filter each month, and replace or clean it when dirty to reduce heating costs and improve furnace efficiency.
Keep heating vents clear of furniture and draperies, and keep dampers open. Vacuum dust and pet fur from warm-air registers and cold-air returns.
Install a programmable thermostat on your furnace to automatically adjust the temperature setting. Lower it at night and when you go to work. You could realize savings as high as 10 percent on your heating bill.
Your water heater is an energy glutton. Set the thermostat in a range between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Another way to conserve is to wrap the heating in an insulating blanket.
Don’t heat spaces you don’t use. Close doors and warm-air registers in vacant rooms. Avoid heating uninsulated areas such as garages and crawl spaces. Keep your garage door closed as much as possible.
Don’t let heated air escape up your chimney. Make sure the damper is closed when your fireplace is not in use.
Open drapes and blinds on sunny days to take advantage of the natural heating. Close drapes and blinds when the sun sets.
Get into the layered look. Put an extra sweater on your back, another blanket on the bed. It’s the easiest way to keep the cold at bay.