• Turn down your thermostat in cold weather. Every degree lower can save 2% on your electric bill. Use a programmable thermostat to lower temperature to 55° at night and when no one is home. Don't heat unoccupied rooms.
• Replace furnace and heat pump filters monthly. Consider an electrostatic filter that can be washed and reused.
• Close your fireplace or woodstove damper when they aren't in use.
• Insulate crawl space vents during cold weather. Be sure heating ducts are sealed and insulated.
• Get an energy audit from your electric company. Be sure they do a blower door test to identify holes and cracks that allow air to enter or exit your home. Seal air leaks. Maintain healthy indoor air quality in a controlled way (with an air exchanger or whole house fan). Use ventilation fans only when needed to adequately remove moisture and odors from your house.
• Check the R value of insulation in your home's ceiling, walls, and floor. Minimum standards are R-38 in ceiling, R-19 in walls, and R-38 under floors. Exceed these and super-insulate. Even when professionally installed, insulation is inexpensive compared to rising energy costs..
• Make sure your existing windows are caulked and sealed properly. When purchasing new windows, specify double or triple glazed, low-emissivity (low-e) windows. Consider insulated window quilts at night or in the winter to reduce heat loss. Minimize glazing on building sides not exposed to the sun. Even the best windows have only a fraction of the insulating value of a wall.
• Use passive solar techniques to maximize solar gain through south-facing windows in the winter. Use overhangs or awnings to reduce solar gain in the summer. An attached sun room can also be a good way to collect solar heat, if controlled properly.