20 Ways to Cut Energy Bills

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Upgrades, Fixes, and General Tips

Upgrades and Fixes

14. Install an energy-efficient pet door. More than just a lightweight flap, energy-efficient models have a much better seal, minimizing heat loss when your dog heads outside or in.

15. Lubricate door locks and hinges to make sure they close completely for the best possible seal.

16. Check your recessed lighting -- great-looking, but a potential heat leak. Install airtight fixtures, if necessary.

General Tips

17. Moving? Consider the location -- good southern exposure can drastically cut heating bills. On sunny days open all south-facing curtains and blinds for passive solar benefits.

18. Don't forget to reverse ceiling fan rotation (there's a switch that makes this easy). The fan should move counterclockwise, which forces warm air back down into the room. That means you can lower the thermostat.

19. Watch "vampire power," or energy use from appliances that are turned off but remain plugged in. Unplug them when they're not in use. Coffeemakers, toasters, and computers are major culprits.

20. Turn off bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans as soon as you've finished bathing or cooking -- they're a major source of heat loss.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, December 2008.


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