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Top Energy Efficiency Tips for the Holidays
Holiday joy usually comes hand in hand with a whirlwind of shopping, preparation, celebrations, and houseguests. All of this can add up to unusually high utility bills—but it doesn’t have to. Here are some simple energy efficiency tips that will help you enjoy the season while keeping your energy consumption low.
Deck the halls with LEDs: Lavish displays of holiday lights used to mean a whopping electric bill. Thanks to LED technology, though, which uses only a tiny fraction of the energy of traditional bulbs, your house can still be the most festive on the block without that expense. While strings of LED lights are a more significant up-front investment than incandescent, they will last for years, and they are available in traditional warm white and beautiful colors. Put your lights on automatic timers for even more savings—no more forgetting and leaving them on for hours longer than you intended.
Be a wise elf in the kitchen: What’s a holiday celebration without delicious home-cooked food and scrumptious desserts? Having your kitchen appliances working overtime does not have to mean a huge increase in your energy consumption, however. Being mindful of how you use your appliances can make a big difference.
- Refrigerator: On the plus side, having your refrigerator full of food means it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool everything. Try to keep it closed as much as possible, though, so cold air doesn’t escape. The more often you open the door, the more energy you waste, so try to take out everything you need at one time if possible.
- Oven: Try cooking several items at once—making sure to leave enough room for heat to circulate around every item—to use energy more efficiently. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside, so check how things are doing through the oven window instead.
- Dishwasher: Always wash full loads, and if your dishwasher has one, opt for the “energy saving” cycle.
- Other appliances: Smaller appliances may be a smarter choice energy-wise than using the stove or oven, depending on what you’re cooking. Think about whether your microwave, steamer, or toaster oven might be a better fit for the job before you fire up the oven.
Know what to turn down (or off): Holiday energy savings can depend on your plans. If you’re going to have a houseful of guests for a party, turn down your thermostat—all those bodies will generate plenty of heat on their own! If, on the other hand, you plan to spend some time traveling, unplug your energy vampire devices while you’re gone. If you’re not going to be using your TV or printer, there’s no reason for them to be drawing power in your absence.
Of course, you can also enjoy the benefits of energy efficiency year-round. For starters, LED bulbs in your regular fixtures, updated EnergyStar appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and proper insulation can all reduce your energy consumption tremendously. According to Sea Pointe Construction, other improvements like double-pane windows can increase your savings even further. They also point out that if you’d like to know what you can do to make your home as energy efficient as possible in every season, you can contact construction experts in your area and they'll be happy to help.
Have you tried any of these ideas? What are some choices you've made to save on energy bills? Comment below!