Cut your energy bills in half

Yes, really. These five leak-plugging, warmth-trapping, efficiency-enhancing ideas could slice your home's energy usage by up to 50 percent.

Upgrade your equipment
Natural gas burns cleaner than oil, but stick with an oil system if you've already got one.
Upgrade your equipment
There's no getting around it: Replacing your entire heating and cooling system is a big, expensive project. But if your system is more than two decades old, the new one should easily pay for itself in three to seven years. In the long term it can save you more money than any other home improvement project.

Annual savings : As much as 25% to 50% on your fuel bills.

Up-front cost : $3,000 to $6,000 for a new furnace and air conditioning unit, including installation.

Tax credit : $300 for central AC system; $300 for water heater; $150 for furnace or broiler (credit cannot exceed $500).

Quick Fix : Air Filters (costing about $30 a year) could save you about $100 a year if you change them every three months, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Chose a pleated model - it'll do a better job.

Upgrade

Patch

Seal

Insulate

Replace
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.