Holiday Energy-Saving Tips Every Family Should Know
They say home is where the heart is. And when the holiday season comes around, home is usually where the celebration is, too. It’s also where consumers can do the most to save energy by making a few simple changes in how they decorate, cook or simply go about their day.
Here are some tips to help you be more energy-efficient during the holidays, yet still enjoy this special time of year to the fullest.
Deck the halls with boughs of holly—and LEDs
Switching to LED holiday lights is one of the best ways to start your holiday energy conservation. LEDs are more efficient and more durable and long-lasting than traditional lights, and use at least 75% less energy. And they look just as nice. Also, don’t scrimp on the tinsel and other reflective décor. Along with making your house look festive, these help magnify the effect of the lights you already have without using additional electricity.
Once you’ve finished hanging your lights inside and outside your home, consider installing timers on the strings. Sometimes, amid the fun and celebrations, it’s easy to forget to unplug them, which could end up wasting a significant amount of electricity.
Also, get in the habit of turning off room lights when the tree is all lit up. There should be enough of a glow to brighten the room. Plus, you might find you like the way it sets the holiday mood.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
According to the Department of Energy, cooking accounts for 4.5% of the average home’s energy usage—and much more during the holidays when you’re preparing for your Thanksgiving dinner and other holiday meals and celebrations. For smaller dishes, you can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80% by using your microwave oven, slow cookers, and toaster ovens. These appliances require less energy and will add no extra heat or humidity to your home.
Baking several dishes at a time is also an excellent way to keep up that holiday cheer when you open your electricity bill. Plan side dishes that you can prepare alongside main ones. If you cook them together at the same temperature, you’ll decrease how long your oven must run, which saves time while potentially saving energy, too.
And no peeking! Cracking the oven door to admire your delicious pork roast every five minutes can lower your oven’s temperature by as much as 25%, forcing it to draw extra energy to make it recover.
May your holidays be merry and bright!
Along with changing your approach to decorating and cooking, there are other simple things you can do to be more energy-efficient during the holidays. For example, having family over does more than warm the holiday spirit; it can warm your home as well. So, when your place starts filling up, adjust the thermostat down.
Plus, if—like many people—you’re planning to travel this time of year, beware of phantom energy users! These are the many electronic devices that seemingly sit idle in your home, yet still draw energy in the Sleep or Standby mode. Computers, TVs, and mobile phone chargers are some of the biggest culprits. Be sure to unplug them before you go on vacation.