Now that the holiday season is upon us, many people have already begun preparations for entertaining friends, visiting loved ones and enjoying the spirit of the season. But as most of us know, the holidays are not without their own set of unique concerns.
The prospect of paying for the high cost of energy and other expenses associated with these celebrations can result in more stress than merriment come Christmastime. Luckily there are ways save money during the holidays without skimping on the fun.
Take a look at these ten energy-saving tips for the Holidays that will help you reduce your utility bill. Also, take time to remember that this time of year is all about who you spend it with – not about how much or what you spend your money on.
- Maintain efficient HVAC systems
Heating costs represent a sizable fraction of a typical home’s utility bills. Ensure that you’re getting the most for your money by enlisting a trained contractor to look over your HVAC equipment and identify ways of making it run more efficiently. Utilize online resources to determine the energy efficiency of your home – click here or check out the EnergyStar site for details – and learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint.(Editor’s Note: Just published another piece on this topic called “Key tips to winterize your Louisville home.”)
- Use a programmable thermostat
With the assistance of a programmable thermostat, you can keep your residence at a higher temperature during the day and a lower one at night. Because it functions automatically, you won’t have to do much once you’ve entered your preferred settings.
- Use space heaters
If you use a few rooms in your home heavily while entering others only rarely, it might be a good idea to investigate the use of space heaters. By turning the thermostat in your house down and setting up space heaters in the most frequented parts of the property, you won’t have to heat empty areas of your building.
- Wear slippers and a hat
Because hot air rises, your floors are probably colder than the ambient temperature. Rather than turning up the heat, you should consider wearing slippers. At the same time, wearing a hat will conserve heat within your body, making you feel warmer.
- Use LED lights
LED lights use less electricity than traditional lights, and they also break less frequently. By using LED Christmas lights this year, you can cut your total energy consumption significantly.
- Unplug Christmas lights during the day
Bright, colorful Christmas lights can really contribute to the ambiance of your property, but this effect is largely wasted during the daytime. Unplug your lights during the day to conserve energy and save money.
- Unplug electronics when away from home
If you’re planning on staying away from home for several days, you can reduce energy costs by unplugging devices in your house. Radios, TVs, computers, and other electronic products often consume energy even if they’re turned off, so unplug them to cut their energy consumption to zero.
- Properly use your dishwasher
Run your dishwasher in the most efficient manner possible: only when you have a full load ready. Try to install your dishwasher far away from your refrigerator, or else the extra heat generated by the dishwasher will make your fridge work overtime, wasting energy.
- Plan your oven use
Whenever you’re cooking a large meal, it might be wise to place several items in your oven at the same time. That way, you won’t have to reheat your oven multiple times. When checking on the status of your food, it’s better to use the oven light rather than opening the door, which allows heat to escape.
- Select the right cooking appliance
Although some foods just don’t turn out right unless you prepare them in an oven, there are other dishes that you can make in your toaster oven or microwave. By using your smaller cooking devices instead of your oven, you can get your food heated at a lower energy cost.
Despite the high and rising costs of energy, you have options at your disposal to reduce your energy bills during the holidays this year. Employ the latest in energy-efficient technology as well as your own common sense to cut your costs without sacrificing your comfort and merriment.