Spend a little, save a lot, or spend a whole bunch and save even more. Here are 10 ways to shave your energy bills year round.
Sure, it's nostalgia-inducing and all, but when it comes down to it, your fireplace is terribly—make that laughably—inefficient. According to the Department of Energy, a lit fireplace sucks about 24,000 cubic feet of furnace-heated air up your chimney each hour. Bonus: It's replaced by cold air that comes in the opposite direction through the same opening, causing your furnace to work extra hard to keep your house toasty. Still, we love gathering round the hearth as much as the next guy. Just remember to turn the thermostat down a little when you use it. Also, crack a window in the room where the fireplace is located and then close the door, so it doesn't suck too much warm air from the rest of the house. And remember to close your damper when it's not in use.
Save even more by installing a programmable thermostat.