Owning a home is one of the biggest financial victories you can win as an adult. But just because you have your own home doesn’t mean you should stop looking for opportunities to save money here and there. And if one of your biggest priorities is energy efficiency, then here are some tips to help you out.

1. Change Your Lighting Habits

Lighting is one of the most common ways we use energy in our homes. But with energy use doubling every 20 years, even the smallest change in your energy use habits can make a difference. So it could be time to change your lighting habits! First and foremost, consider using as much natural light as possible throughout the day.

Open your curtains and let the sun illuminate your home for the day. Unfortunately, shorter days are quickly approaching, which means there will be fewer opportunities to use natural light in your home. But when you do need to use artificial lights, make sure you’re using LED bulbs over incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs typically use less energy than traditional lightbulbs while providing even more light for your home. In addition, they’re about the same price. So saving on your electricity bill just got easier!

2. Use a Programmable Thermostat

If your home is already equipped with a programmable thermostat, that’s great! Now it’s time for you to learn how to use it in a way that will help you save energy rather than waste it. And considering that you’re already potentially adding 10% to your energy bills as a result of air leaks in your home, the sooner you take efficiency measures with your thermostat, the better. The most basic thing you can do to save money on your heating and cooling expenses is to set your thermostat a few degrees higher than you normally would during the summer months and then a few degrees lower than you normally would during the winter months.

It might feel a little bit uncomfortable in your house, but a good rule of thumb is to dress similarly to the way you would if you were stepping outside for a few minutes. This way, you’re making sure your heating and cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard to achieve your desired temperature throughout the house. In addition, make sure you’re setting the thermostat to an appropriate temperature while you’re out of the house. If you’re going to be gone all day on a hot summer day, set your thermostat a few degrees higher still. This can help you save money and energy while you’re not at home.

3. Seal Your Windows and Doors

Did you know that almost 30% of your home’s heating energy is lost through your windows? Small gaps in window frames and even beneath doors can result in huge energy losses. To prevent energy loss and overworking your HVAC system, it’s a good idea to seal up any gaps and cracks around your windows and doors, especially during the winter months. A simple caulking job and some weather stripping can go a long way in helping you reduce your energy use and energy costs during the colder months. And if it’s in your budget, consider investing in new windows that are designed with energy conservation in mind.

Whether energy efficiency is at the top of your priority list or you’re not sure how to get there yet, these simple tips can go a long way towards helping you save money on your home energy expenses. Once you have these small changes taken care of, you can begin to budget for more energy efficiency home remodeling projects.