A home's biggest energy consumer is its heating system.
Adjust Your Thermostat Setting
The more you turn down (and in summer, turn up) your thermostat, the greater the savings will be. Some people, particularly the elderly, may require indoor temperatures to be maintained at 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher at all times to prevent a fatal drop in body temperature. People with circulatory problems or those taking certain types of drugs may also be vulnerable. In such instances, a doctor's advice on both winter and summer thermostat settings should be followed.
Check Your Filter
Some reductions in the heating system's efficiency can be corrected for little or no cost. For example, a clogged furnace filter can greatly reduce the amount of air being circulated by the furnace through the heat distribution system. Checking the filter once a month and replacing when necessary during the heating season allows a greater amount of warmed air to be re-circulated.
Service Your Heating & Cooling System
Getting regular checkups for your heating / cooling system is as important as maintaining your car. Just as a tuned-up car will last longer and get more miles for every gallon of fuel, your heating system will give you longer service and more heat for every unit of fuel. A more efficient heating system saves you money because it takes less fuel to get the same amount of heat. The thermostat also should be periodically checked and kept free of dust.
Check For Air Leaks
On forced air systems, check the distribution system for air leaks. Repair leaks with duct tape. Check heat registers and cold air returns for obstructions. Chairs or sofas placed in front of a heat register or cold air return will reduce the effectiveness of the furnace. And make sure drapes are not covering the registers. Insulate ducts that run through unheated spaces.
Other Electrical Elements Can Effect Your Heating Efficiency
Keep heat-producing objects, such as lamps or TVs, away from the thermostat. If you use a portable heater, be sure it is safe. Make sure your home has ample wire size to accommodate the electrical requirements of the heater. Be sure to keep a portable heater away from water and from flammable material such as drapes. Be sure it has an automatic shut-off in case it is tipped over and it should be thermostatically controlled.