If your HVAC equipment is more than 15 years old, consider replacing your heating and cooling equipment with higher efficiency units.
Conduct energy audit
An energy audit can help find ways to save you money on your energy costs.
The recommended changes from an energy audit can range from no-cost adjustments, to changes that require investments that payback savings over several years.
Timing: July (every 5 years)
A detailed energy audit should be conducted by a trained professional, who has experience in evaluating how energy is used and can be conserved.
The types of things they should look at include:
Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of energy saving devices such as programmable thermostats, low-flow shower heads, water heater wrap kits, attic fans, etc.
Evaluate your appliances for cost-effective opportunities to replace them with higher-efficiency models.
Evaluate your insulation and windows for heat loss ratings.
Evaluate replacing light fixtures and light bulbs with higher efficiency types.
Develop recommendations for reducing operating costs such as reducing the temperature setting on your water heater, doing laundry during off-peak times, etc.
Use a ‘blower door’ and an infrared device to detect sources of heat and cooling losses around your home.
You should shop around to find a service provider with sophisticated tools and techniques for analyzing your specific home for energy savings.
The benefits of this task can provide significant energy savings depending on the age of your home, your cost of energy, and the number of energy-saving steps that are available for your home.
The cost of this task is moderately low, and may even be free from your local utility.
Originally posted at http://www.petermuehlbronner.home-wizard.com/energy-audits/overview