If your New Year’s resolution to spend less and save more always fizzles out by March, don’t fret. You can save money on your energy bill each month by making just a few small changes around the house.
• Save up to 20 percent on heating by installing a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers the heat when you leave the house for more than five hours or when the family goes to bed for the night.
• Save 1 percent to 3 percent on heating costs for each degree you turn the thermostat down. For optimal savings, set the thermostat at 68 degrees while at home and 65 degrees before you leave the house for the day.
• Save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills by sealing air leaks around doors and windows with caulk and weatherstripping. This inexpensive energy saver will pay for itself within a year.
• Save at least 25 percent on air conditioning when you replace your energy-inefficient central AC with one that has a seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher.
• Save up to 40 percent on what you spend to run your refrigerator by replacing an old unit with a new Energy Star model.
• Save more than 50 percent on energy for cooking when you use a microwave instead of a conventional oven to heat meals.
• Save more than 10 percent on your water heating bill by lowering the water heater temperature from 140 to 120 degrees.
• Save 75 percent on energy for lighting by replacing incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They last about 10 times longer and will save you about $30 or more in electricity costs over the life of each bulb.