You can drastically lower your carbon footprint and utility bills with just a twitch of the finger. Over half of Boston’s climate emissions come from buildings, and heating and cooling account for a large part of those emissions. Click on the options below to expand.

Insulate and weatherize first

By weatherizing (i.e. sealing air leaks, installing insulation) your home, your thermostat will turn off automatically much more often. A well-weatherized home can maintain a comfortable temperature without turning the boiler on!

Get a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat will make it easy to manage your home’s temperature. For example, in the winter, a smart thermostat will make sure the house is warm right when you wake up instead of after you wake up. A smart thermostat can also turn the heat down automatically when you’re not around. MassSAVE, a state and utilities partnership, will pay $25 of the cost of a thermostat or call 1-800-232-0672. National Grid is also offering a $100 instant rebate on NEST – a “learning thermostat” – that programs itself and allows for many more features.

You can handle two more degrees, right?

In the winter, turning your heat down just by one or two degrees can make a big difference in your energy and money. Wearing a sweater and slippers at home can keep you comfortable even at temperatures below 65 degrees! In the summer, try and leave your air conditioning off, turning it on only when the outside temperature is more than 87 degrees. At work, ask your property manager to see if he can raise the temperature by just one degree.

Turn your heat off earlier

Even though April was a warmer month than November and December, high energy users used much more money and energy to heat their homes in April than in November and December. Try to leave your heating off permanently by early April. Try and use your A/C as little as possible.

Reduce heating and cooling in unused rooms

Save money and energy by reducing heating and cooling in unused rooms. If you’re heading out to work, or leaving for vacation, make sure to tweak your thermostat to reduce your energy usage while you’re gone. If you have unused rooms in your house, such as an attic or basement, try to limit the amount of heating and cooling in them.

What are your tactics for controlling your thermostat in the winter and the summer? Leave your comments below.