The holiday season is a time to socialize with family and friends, and to honor the relationships you have with these people. But amidst all of the glitz and celebration, it's easy for costs to add up. Your energy bills are not a place you should have to splurge. Here are five easy tips for energy savings during the holidays.
1. Use LED lights.
If you decorate your home with lights for the holiday season, be sure to make the upgrade to LEDs. The lights themselves may cost a little more upfront, but the cost savings will quickly compensate.
2. Put lights on a timer.
Another way to avoid sinking too much energy into your holiday lights is to connect them to a timer. Program the timer to shut the lights off at 12 am or so; few people will be driving around to see them after this. These days, there are plenty of smart timers you can attach to your light socket and control from your smartphone.
3. Turn the thermostat down.
When you have friends over for dinner and celebrations, turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees. With so many people in the room, everyone will be warm without you having to over-tax your furnace.
4. Cook efficiently.
Especially if you are cooking for a crowd, try to put several dishes in the oven at once so that you are only paying to heat the oven for a shorter period of time. Many recipes can be baked at a slightly lower or higher temperature than the recipe calls for with few to no consequences. For instance, you can usually bake a casserole that calls for 40 minutes at 325 for 35 minutes at 350 with no problems.
5. Close the doors after guests.
When guests arrive, there is a temptation to stand in the doorway and chat. All the while, cold air streams in through the open door. Greet your guests and close the door behind each of them to prevent this energy loss.
6. Give gifts that save energy.
You can reduce energy consumption indirectly by giving friends gifts that are energy efficient. Power strips, rechargeable batteries, and LED bulbs are inexpensive choices.
Follow the above tips for energy savings during the holidays. And if you want to further lower your energy costs, check out our post entitled "Avoiding Hidden Fees in Your Energy Bill."