Energy efficiency means you are using less energy to do the same tasks. Here are some recommend tips to make your home more energy efficient while saving your money:

Insulate your walls and attic: Old homes with big attics are notorious for leaking air due to inconsistent or thin insulation. When hiring a contractor, make sure they use an infrared camera during and after installing insulation to detect any voids or gaps. Sealing cracks, gaps and leaks and adding insulation can save up to 10% on home heating and cooling costs.

Replace or upgrade windows: Replacing single-glazed windows with dual pane will have an immediate impact, as Energy Star-rated replacement windows can result in a savings of about 12% in heating and cooling bills.

Replace your old furnace: The age of your furnace may determine what you should do about it. If it was manufactured prior to 1992 with a standing pilot you may be wasting up to 35% of the fuel that it uses. Replacing it with a condensing furnace with annual efficiency of at least 90% will save you more than 25% off of your bill.

Clean or replace all filters in your home regularly: Dirty filters make your system work harder and run longer than necessary.

Set your thermostat to 78-degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 68-degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Every degree of extra heating or cooling will increase energy usage 6% to 8%.

Improve your hot water heater’s efficiency: Try turning down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting. Insulate hot water lines. Install “on demand” hot water circulating loops and low-flow fixtures.

Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs): The lighting cost of a CFL is less than one-third that of an incandescent option. You might also consider changing your light bulbs to LEDs.

Turn off lights when they’re not in use. Lighting accounts for about 12% of a typical residential utility bill. Use natural light when possible.

Turn off heated dry on your dishwasher and use air dry instead. Wash your clothes in cold water if possible. Don’t peek in the oven while baking: Every time you peek, your oven’s temperature can drop up to 25 degrees.

Defrost your refrigerator and freezer before ice buildup becomes ¼-inch thick to ensure your appliances are running efficiently. Set your refrigerator temperature to the manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid excessive cooling and wasting energy.

Don’t leave your electronics on all day long. Only turn on your computer, monitor, printer and fax machine when you need them.

Using your ceiling fan: Will allow you to raise the thermostat setting approx. 4 degrees Fahrenheit with no reduction in comfort.

To effectively increase your energy efficiency involves more than just using less energy - it requires you becoming aware of how energy is used, where it’s wasted, and how it can be used more efficiently.