Let’s face it. Because of the holidays, we’re all pretty broke and looking for ways to pocket a little more cash this New Year.

Instead of panicking and picking up a part time job, or getting sucked into the deep, dark hole of credit card debt, consider making a few minor adjustments in your home to save energy and lower your electric bills. Did you know that almost half of your energy bill goes towards heating and cooling, and 30% of that is due to heat. In fact, heat – whether it comes from your HVAC system, dishwasher, or laundry machine – takes up more energy than cool alternatives. That means, making a few smart energy saving decisions during the winter season is arguably even more crucial than in the summer. Trust us, you’ll see a BIG impact in your utility bills.

Don’t let the cool air freeze your bank account. Start the New Year off right by using these 5 energy saving tips to save money and improve your quality of life.

1. Seal Cracks in Your House. Take a day to look for holes around the doors and windows in your home. Chances are, you have a few.  Although they’re little in size, these little devils are steeling a chunk of your money. Consumer Reports says that patching up leaks can cut your electric bill by 15-30%. Go to your local hardware store and buy caulk and weather-stripping to seal these cracks. 

2. Don’t Cool or Heat an Empty House. It can be a pain to remember, but unless you have a programmable thermostat, you should manually turn the thermostat up when you leave for work in the summer, and down during the winter to conserve energy. After all, why heat a house during the winter when no one is there? If you want to take a step further, consider closing off rooms and vents in areas of the house that aren’t used as frequently. 

3. Monthly Replace Air Filters. Don’t put off replacing your air filter because you don’t want to spend the money buying a new one. The reality is, you’ll actually save money by changing your filter on a monthly basis. The build up of dirt on your filter ultimately restricts airflow and causes your AC unit to work harder. You can also invest in a permanent filter, which is more costly on the front end, but ends up saving utility money in the long run. 

4. Reduce Dishwasher and Laundry Machine Heat. LG Electronics reports that we use 90% of energy just from heating the water in our washing machines. So, next time it’s laundry day, try washing your clothes with only cold water. Bonus? You can save an extra step by not having to wash your lights and darks separately. If people call you lazy, just tell them you’re saving energy. You can also air drying your clothes afterwards to conserve heat emitted from your dryer. 

The dishwasher works the same way. Unfortunately, it’s harder to avoid using hot water to clean your dishes, since it requires a little heat to effectively remove stains. Most dishwashers will, however, let you disable your “heated drying” system so you can dry your dishes by hand to save money. 

5. Unplug Electronics & Turn Off Lights. This is the easiest thing to forget at the end of the day. These silent energy guzzlers can run your bank account dry if you’re not careful. Make sure you’re unplugging your phone charger, computer, hair dryer, etc. According to Consumer Report, you can save up to $75 dollars yearly by remembering to turn off your computer when you’re not using it. 

Some devices are worse than others. These three appliances are the big energy drainers you want to watch out for: video game systems, computers and television sets. 

By making just a few minor energy saving changes, you’re guaranteed to see a huge drop in your electric bill. Don’t forget, your air conditioner can either work for, or against you, depending on how well you maintain it. At Reliant Air Conditioning, we’ve got the most skilled technicians in the industry that are ready to help you with any of your ac repair needs. Contact us today to get started!