It’s that time of year! The time when your home is filled with twinkling lights, the sounds of the season, guests galore, and a stack of energy bills that will have you vowing to lower them in 2013. Here are five ways to keep your energy costs down this holiday season!

1. Did you know that for $5, you can cure leaky window panes? All you need is a tube of caulk from your local home improvement store to remedy the issue.

2. If you suspect that your heating bill is on the rise because of poor insulation, it may be time to take a trip to the attic. Look at the floor to see whether you need to add more insulation. At $1 a square foot for fiberglass insulation, adding a little bit more can go a long way, as increasing insulation can cut your heating bill by about 20%.

3. Take a look at your washer and dryer. Older machines use a ton of water and can cost you big time when it comes to energy bills. If you’re in the market for new appliances, choose a front-loading washing machine that uses roughly half the water of a top-loader. They also require less energy and detergent and are gentler on clothes.

4. For $250 to $800, an energy auditor can perform a detailed diagnosis of your home, identifying problems and possible solutions. Find auditors via the Building Performance Institute or Residential Energy Services Network. Also, an audit may qualify you for a rebate, so check with your utility provider.

5. If you suspect that energy is escaping through your heating and cooling ducts, consider Aeroseal. This is a process where technicians blow sealant into ducts, filling cracks from the inside. It costs about $1,500, but could save you a significant amount of money annually.