2. Insulate & seal your home
Heating and cooling your home takes up around $1,000 of your energy bill per year on average, which means you're using a lot of energy on it. If you address it, you'll be cutting that number down and reducing the impact your home has on the environment. Consider a programmable thermostat, which can save you up to $180 a year in energy costs, according to Energy Star. But a thermostat won't make much difference if all the air is getting out, so you should also add insulation throughout your home, seal air-leaks, and when purchasing windows make sure they're Energy Star approved.
When you're sealing your home, pay particular attention to heating and cooling ducts. In the average home, "about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts," according to Energy Star. If that's happening, adjusting your thermostat will be in vain. First, you'll want to seal ducts around attics, crawl spaces, unheated basements, and your garage. Make sure to use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) to tape the duct's seams and connections, and ideally wrap them in insulation after. Then you can move onto other ducts in the parts of the house that you have more control over and continue insulating from there.