One of the most common New Year resolutions is to save money. While doing this can help you improve your quality of life, if you do not come up with money-saving strategies, you will be like a majority of people who set the same goal the following year.

If you want to save money and reduce your impact on the environment at the same time, it is time to learn how you can reduce energy consumption and lower your energy bills in 2014. Here 6 of the most effective energy saving tips that you should know to prepare for your new and more sustainable lifestyle:

Six Energy Saving Tips For 2014

Tip #1: Get a Home Energy Checkup

Do you know where your home is losing energy? If you have drafts throughout your home, you may have a general idea of where cool air is coming in and hot air is escaping, but this is not a detailed enough observation to save a significant amount of money. There are professionals, generally called energy auditors, who are experts in making homes more energy efficient. While some companies offer auditing services, many electric companies are happy to send auditors to your home. These professionals will inspect ductwork, your HVAC systems, appliances, insulation, and leaks during the checkup.

Tip #2: Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances

If you have an old HVAC system or kitchen appliance, consider replacing these home systems with more energy efficient models. Your HVAC system uses more energy than any other system in the home when it is operating, and having an Energy Star approved product can really reduce your monthly bills without compromising your comfort during winter and summer seasons. Research the most efficient brands and models, and make a wise investment that pays for itself over time.

Tip #3: Seal the Energy Leaks

After your home energy checkup, you can assess whether or not energy leaks are located around your home. If you have large gaps between your doors, gaps in the ceiling, leaks around plumbing lines, or drafts coming from your windows, seal in the leaks. This will keep the air your HVAC system works hard to cool or heat inside of the home instead of paying for air that is quickly escaping outdoors.

Tip #4: Understand How to Use Your Thermostat Wisely

If you do not yet have a thermostat, investing in one can help you save between 10 and 20 percent off of your heating and cooling costs if you know how to use the application right. Setting your thermostat for different times of the day will help you avoid paying for AC or heating while you are at work for 8 hours. By setting the system to kick on before you come home, you can lower your bills.

Tip #5: Choose Energy-efficient Lighting

In today’s modern world, living without lighting is very difficult, but you can choose more energy-efficient systems and bulbs. New high-performance fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs are becoming the standard. In fact, the government may offer you incentives to switch to an efficient lighting fixture if you participate in the program.

Tip #6: Home Automation Systems

If you are a tech-savvy individual and you want to use technology to attain your goals, there are modern home automation systems that can help you monitor your energy usage and control your electronics remotely. By investing in these systems, you can turn off lights, appliances, change the thermostat setting, and even watch live feeds from cameras. These systems will also earn you a discount on your home insurance premiums.

Saving energy is all about making wise investments and changing your usage habits. By identifying where you can make changes, taking actions, and using convenient tools, you can turn your resolution into more than just a goal, you can turn it into a reality.