• On the next windy day, light a candle and hold it near any place where air can get inside—around windows and doors, plumbing fixtures, electrical panels, attic doors and cable and phone outlets. When the flame flickers, you have a draft. Seal it with caulking or weatherstripping.
  • Trade in those incandescent light bulbs for energy-saving compact fluorescents or LEDs.
  • Find out if your water heater feels warm to the touch. If it does, and especially if it was made before 1991, you may need to add an insulation blanket. Also check the thermostat setting. If you use a dishwasher that preheats water, you don’t need to set your water heater thermostat higher than 120 degrees.
  • Be good to your heating and cooling systems. Have furnaces and air-conditioners professionally checked and serviced annually. If you use a forced-air heating system, change the filter every month. A properly maintained system can use around 10% less energy than a system that’s not in top condition.
  • Find out how much attic insulation you have by simply measuring the depth. If you have less than a foot of insulation, you may need more. The Department of Energy recommends about 12 inches of fiberglass blanket insulation for most homes.