You’ve spent enough money this holiday season. Why spend any more on your energy bills than you have to? You’re happy to have friends and family near for the holidays, but this can mean a bigger bill at the end of the month after all that cooking, air conditioning and heating, and holiday lighting. We want to help you keep these costs under control.
Follow these tips to save energy over the holidays, without sacrificing any of the joy and cheer.
#1: Trade Up to LED Lights
You shouldn’t have to use a ton of energy spreading holiday cheer—and thankfully, you don’t have to! LED Christmas lights can use 90% less energy than other lights, and they are not much more expensive. In fact, you’ll find that LED Christmas lights take up a large portion of the holiday decoration section at your local home goods store!
#2: Use Timers for Lighting
To get the most out of your holiday lights without using more energy than is necessary, you should turn the lights on only once it gets dark and turn them off before you go to bed. Of course, this can be easy to forget after a long day. Plug the lights into a timer so that they automatically turn on and shut off, preferably staying on for no more than about 6 hours.
#3: Gifting Electronics? Look for the ENERGY STAR Seal
Everything from dishwashers to ceiling fans to televisions can be ENERGY STAR certified, meaning that they have earned the label given by the EPA to products that use a minimal amount of energy for the same performance as comparable products. You may pay a little more upfront but your loved ones will thank you for the monthly savings!
#4: Cook Smarter, Not Harder
When you cook at home, you waste a lot of energy and fuel when you cook dishes separately at different times. Plan holiday meals out ahead of time so that you’re using the oven for 2 or 3 dishes at a time. If possible, use smaller appliances for certain meals. If it can go in the microwave or the toaster oven, for example, instead of the oven, this will cut back on cooking time and save energy, killing two birds with one stone!
#5: Use a Programmable Thermostat
Finally, one of the best ways to save during the holiday season—and all year round—is to make efficient use of your programmable thermostat. This means ensuring that you keep it locked at an efficient temperature most of the day while people are home (and trying to prevent family members from constantly changing the temperature up and down).
When you leave the home, you should turn up the temperature by about 5-10° on the thermostat, so as not to waste energy. A smart thermostat makes this easier, allowing you to check on the temperature in the home even when you are away at work or on that well-earned vacation. For more information, contact our heating and cooling experts!