For most Americans, the holidays are a time of major spending. Between Christmas shopping, home heating bills, and travel expenses, things can start to get very expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. This year, be kind to your wallet and the environment by following these helpful energy efficiency tips.
1. Make sure you have proper insulation.
Many older homes do not have sufficient insulation. This can cause your heating system to work harder than it should and send your heating bills skyrocketing. If you think your home’s insulation needs to be replaced, contact Creative Conservation for a quote. We can install insulation throughout your home that will combat drafts and keep the temperature of your home constant. Best of all, you’ll save money on utility bills this holiday season.
2. Put holiday lights on a timer.
When you’re rushing to get the kids out the door in the morning, it can be difficult to remember to turn off the Christmas lights. A timer will take care of it for you! You’ll save a significant amount of money that would otherwise be spent on wasted electricity. Also, make sure you use LED Christmas lights this year. They use far less energy than traditional lights and last 10 times longer!
3. Set your thermostat between 66° and 68° F.
Simply lowering your thermostat by one degeree can reduce your engergy use by 1-3%. This little tip can greatly influence your energy use and utility bills, so be mindful of your thermostat. With the additional heat coming from your oven and more guests in your home during the holiday season, you won’t need to keep your heat as high as normal.
4. Use a slow cooker and, for pity’s sake, stop opening that oven door!
Using a slow cooker is a great way to prep multiple holiday dishes without using as much electricity. If you do use your oven to cook that Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, make sure to use the oven light to check its progress, rather than opening and closing the door. Just opening the oven door for a mere 30 seconds can cause the oven temperature to drop 150° or more! Your oven then has to work extra hard to recover that heat, thus using more energy than necessary.
5. Give gifts that don’t use batteries or electricity.
According to Energy Quest, 40% of all battery sales take place during the holidays. That’s a whole lot of money spent on batteries and a whole lot of energy use as a consequence. This year, pledge to only purchase energy-free gifts, and skip an unnecessary expense altogether.