The holidays have become a time of spend, spend, spend. There’s buying presents, buying wrapping paper, bows, and tags, buying ingredients for cookies and other special recipes, travel expenses, buying decorations, higher electrical bills, and the list goes on and on. The financial stress can take away from the true joy of the season.
There is plenty of information out there about saving money on Christmas gifts, but we want to talk about other ways to save money. Electrical bills can skyrocket during the holiday season, and so can gas bills. The weather is colder, the sun goes down earlier, and the outside of your home is filled with extra lights. Furthermore, you may be cooking more for guests so the oven, stove, and dishwasher are being used more often, and you may have guests using extra water or doing additional loads of laundry. In short, A LOT of energy is used during the holidays. To help combat this, here are four holiday energy saving tips:
Adjust Your Thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat is a great energy saving practice all year round. Ideally during the winter, the temperature gets turned down while everyone is out of the house for the day and again while everyone is snuggled under blankets at night. However, the actual adjustments can vary based on your family’s needs. You don’t need to limit doing this to the month of December, but the holidays are a good time to be very vigilant about doing this. One easy way to implement this is by installing a programmable thermostat that can be programmed to make these adjustments for you.
Having a party? Turn the heat way down or even off for holiday energy saving! Body heat and a hot stove should be enough to keep everyone warm. If you don’t, people may be tempted to crack open windows, which will only cost you more money!
Use LED Lights
When decking your halls this year, throw out the tangled mess of lights you pulled out from the attic, and instead invest in some new LED ones. Yes, this involves spending, and LED lights do initially cost more, but you will be very pleasantly surprised by the savings. In fact, according to Energy.gov, running a light string of LEDs for 12 hours/day for 40 days costs $0.56 while a string of standard C-7 Lights for the same amount of time costs $25.13. Are you convinced yet?
Put Lights on a Timer and Use Candles
Most of us already do have our outdoor lights set on a timer so we do not need to worry about going out in the cold to turn them off each night. If you don’t, consider investing in a timer because leaving Christmas lights on all night long can really add up!
Candles may not be the best option outside in the cold winter wind, but candles inside can sure make your home feel cozy while providing light for your family.
Cook Energy Efficiently
The kitchen is a prime place for holiday energy saving.
“The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that cooking alone accounts for 4.5% of total home energy use, and this figure doesn’t include the energy costs associated with refrigeration, hot water heating, and dishwashing. Added together, these costs mean that as much as 15% of the energy in the average American home is used in the kitchen” (Energy.gov)
Cooking, especially dishes that spend a long time in the oven or on the stove, uses up a lot of energy. When prepping meals for your family, guests, or a party, remember those other appliances in your kitchen such as your slow cooker, microwave, or toaster oven. Keep the lids on your pots so items on the stove will cook faster and resist opening the oven before the food is done.
Overall, many of the good energy saving practices we should be doing all year round can be extra helpful this time of year. A little bit can go a long way as you remember to turn off lights when you leave a room, think about taking a little shorter shower, and turn off the water while brushing your teeth. For more information about holiday energy saving, contact Flame!