Let the Reliant Challenge Begin!

If you live in Texas you know that right around October, we reach this time of uncertainty in the weather.

When fall rolls around on September 21st, even nature is confused. Leaves are falling, but temperatures remain in the steady 90’s and (and if we’re unlucky) 100’s.

Then almost overnight–sometimes literally overnight–rainstorms will move in and it’s so long heat and hello beautiful fall temperatures. Although the 70’s and 80’s are  welcome break after the months of long, humid heat, you can imagine what an adjustment it is for our homes! From A/C blasting all day to a mixture of heat and air conditioning.

And don’t get me started on trying to figure out what to wear. It’s almost just as confusing.


Up until a few weeks ago, we’ve been using a basic thermostat that we purchase back in our second year of marriage. I remember when we installed it, we were so impressed by it’s abilities! {It was replacing one of those circular 80’s style thermostats which you had to fiddle with almost 4 times a day to keep cool.} It not only had a digital display of the temperature, but allowed you to program when the A/C or Heat kicked on. For 7 years it met our needs.

This summer, I think our little thermostat met its match. By the time September hit, although it was digital, we were back to adjusting the thermostat several times a day because it was starting to go a little crazy. Heat? A/C? It had no clue!

Ironically, right around the time we were thinking about purchasing a new thermostat, Reliant invited me to participate in their Energy Awareness Month challenge!

Nest1 They’ve invited 5 bloggers in Dallas and Houston to participate and raise awareness for simple ways Texans can conserve energy during our first real month of fall. So, I used this challenge as an opportunity to up my energy saving game and install a Nest!

The Simplest Way to Save Energy

If you’re not familiar with the Nest Thermostat, it’s definitely THE way to help you save energy. Thermostats make up for over half the energy in your home. That means if you’re not correctly programming your home’s temperature you could be wasting up to $173 a year.*

Nest allows you to not only program your thermostat, but takes it to the next level and actually learns your temperature habits. As you adjust the temperature at certain times of the day, it remembers these variations, but also learns when you’re away from the house through “Auto-Away”–built in motion sensors that detect movement while you’re up and walking around your home. If you work outside of the home, it’ll learn your work habits and set itself to be energy efficient while you’re away. Genius.

Other Ways To Conserve

Lightbulbs On top of our new Nest addition, I’m also trying to be more proactive in conserving energy through obvious ways. Shutting off the lights when we leave a room or leave the house. Filling up the dishwasher before setting it to run. Watching my water settings on our washing machine. (If I don’t need warm or hot water, then use cold and being aware of the water level.) 

I know my next step to conserve even more energy is to finally make the switch from incandescent to fluorescent or LED, but I have to be honest…this will be the toughest switch to make of all simply for vanity reasons.

Although as I did a little browsing at Home Depot today, I was becoming more optimistic as I discovered fluorescent bulbs are looking a little more appealing.

Want to know more about the Reliant Challenge? 

Make sure to continue following along each month as I attempt to make our home more Energy Efficient and compete in a variety of challenges.

What’s in it for me? A Trip to BlogHer 2014!

How can you help? I’d love for you to help cheer me on each month, but as far as helping me win, this one is totally up to me! I could definitely use some advice on ways to me more energy efficient! Have any ideas? Make sure to comment! 

You can also follow along with my competition; 4 other Dallas and Houston bloggers:

  • The Nerd’s Wife – Arena is a Dallas mommy blogger, who admittedly, married a nerd.
  • Frugal Confessions – Amanda has chosen to live the frugal life by choice and because she has a passion for it.
  • 7 on a Shoestring – Staci is a mom of five – yes, you read that correctly! Based in Dallas, she looks for ways to feed and entertain her large family on a shoestring budget.
  • Cheerios and Lattes – Mackenzie’s blog focuses on making family life more enjoyable, sharing recipes, activities and DIY projects.

May the most energy efficient win!


*Fact provided by Nest Thermostat.

**I’ve been asked to participate in the Reliant Challenge to raise awareness for energy conservation. I have not been compensated for writing this post or mentioning Reliant; however, as part of the challenge, we were provided with a Nest Thermostat. 

3 Responses to Let the Reliant Challenge Begin!

  1. willard phillips says:

    I’m betting on LEDs over fluorescents in the next 10 years. Water heater blankets are a good investment.

  2. […] taking on the Reliant Challenge in October, I’ve been making a conscious effort to change our energy […]

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