flea markets, consignment shops and craigslist), take a moment and think about ways to help your home, itself, save some money. Check out a few ideas after the jump...
- Seal air leaks. The cumulative gaps around the windows and doors in an average American house are the equivalent of a three-by-three foot hole in the wall, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. You can do this by using caulk, spray foam, and/or weatherstripping to stop the air you're paying to heat or cool from seeping out.
- Adjust your water heater or ask your landlord to help. The Department of Energy says water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. Expect to save about 3% to 5% in energy costs for every 10 degrees you lower your water heater's thermostat. Also, consider insulating your water heater and surrounding pipes for even greater savings.
- This is an easy one...control your thermostat. Consider turning back your thermostat when you are away or at night when you are sleeping. The Department of Energy calculates about a 1% savings for each degree you lower your thermostat over an 8-hour period.
- Maintain your furnace and air-conditioning. Change filters about once a month so your system doesn't have to work overtime to move air through dirty filters.