About fifteen percent of energy bills are dedicated to heating water and air. While warmth inside the home and the hot water tank is an expectation, there are painless ways to conserve it without depriving yourself of warmth when you need it.The furnace uses more energy than any other home or office device. Most companies will give you a rebate to support the switch to a newer, energy-saving model. Keeping the receipts from the replacement will earn you a tax deduction. Some municipalities in Texas offer a grant to help subsidize greener building practices. Assistance is also provided, subject to family income levels, for energy-saving home renovations.The hot water tank is the next biggest energy sucker. Check your energy bill to determine what your average water consumption is; if your water heater is bigger than you need, you are wasting money heating the whole tank if all you use is a third of it. If your tank is older, insulating the pipes will retain heat and save money spent in lost energy.One of the most efficient methods of conserving heat is leak prevention. One water drop per second can add up to 9000 liters of wasted water in one year. Putting that in perspective, one leak per second is 16 baths per month.Other ways to reduce the amount of water you use include:• installing low-flow shower heads and toilets• fixing seals around taps• keeping drinking water in the refrigerator (prevents waiting for cold tap water)• filling a plastic bottle with tap water to displace water in the toilet tank between flushes (do not use stones or bricks for this; they disintegrate and clog the flapper)• changing to tap aerators to restrict water flow without reducing water pressure• washing laundry in cold water with cold-water compatible laundry soapHeating water and air creates greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting back on your consumption saves you money and makes the earth a healthier place for all of us.