Save Energy and Cut Utility Bills during the Holidays
Energy bills traditionally rise throughout the holiday season. Heating your home as the weather turns colder accounts for much of this, but decorative light displays and hosting celebrations also take up quite a bit of energy. How can you save a few bucks on electricity?
String up energy-efficient Christmas lights
A plugged-in string of Christmas lights might not draw a huge amount electricity, but running multiple strings every day for a month adds up. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lights can significantly reduce energy consumption. Plus, some energy providers offer credits on your bill when you prove you made the switch.
Put decorative lights on a timer
You do not need to turn on your lights before the sun goes down. Nor do you need to keep lights burning at four o’clock in the morning when no one is around to see them. Invest in timers for each string of lights so you never forget when to switch your holiday light displays on and off.
Look into fiber optic lights
These unique holiday decorations employ glass fibers to split light from individual LED bulbs, drastically reducing the electricity needed to produce a bright and colorful holiday display. As relatively new technologies, you may not see fiber optic lights in your neighbors’ yards.
Keep the oven closed
Cracking open the oven door to check how a long-roasting ham or turkey is coming along can be tempting. Doing that, though, can lower the temperature inside the oven by as much as 25 degrees – each time you open the door. This wastes energy and increases the cooking time.
Use glass and ceramic cookware
Glass and ceramic casserole dishes warm faster and retain more heat than metal cooking pans. Using cookware made from those nonmetal materials, then, can allow you to lower oven temperatures by a few degrees. While such adjustments seem small, they save energy and costs over time.
Store leftovers properly
Cover all leftovers before putting them in the refrigerator. Liquid evaporates from foods stored in uncovered pans and on plates not wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil. This dries out the food and makes it unpalatable, while also raising the humidity of the air circulating in the fridge. Because refrigerators work in large part by reducing humidity, uncovered leftovers make the appliances work harder and consume more electricity.