Lots of things tend to increase during this time of year ~ spending, parties, houseguests, and cookies eaten (to name a few). But most people don’t realize that home energy usage can see a big spike as well. While it’s wonderful to decorate with lights and entertain family and friends, the surge in your monthly bills may leave you with a holiday hangover. Here are some ways to help cut down on energy use, while still having a wonderfully merry time.
Go LED ~ Switching your decorative lights to LED ones will save significant amounts of energy. Many stores already have them on clearance so if you weren’t able to change them out for this year, get a jump start on your energy conservation for next time.
Timing is Everything ~ Your lights really only need to be on from sundown until bedtime. Not only does turning lights off after 3-4 hours save you money, it’s safer as well!
Ambience ~ Put those holiday candles and new LED lights to good use. Set them up so that you can turn off the overhead lights and enjoy the cozy, warm glow.
Think Outside the Oven ~ This is a great time to pull out your crock pot, toaster oven, or instant pot. Using the smallest appliance to get the job done saves energy (and could save time as well).
Combine Cleverly ~ When you do have to use the oven, plan for dishes that require about the same temperature and cooking time. Or make one big casserole to feed the whole group (you’ll save energy again when there’s only one pan to wash).
Forget the Fridge ~ Nothing gobbles up energy like a guest standing with the refrigerator door open trying to decide what they want to drink. Place coolers or tubs, either near or just outside a door, that are full of drinks and ice. This way guests can help themselves to a beverage but not to increasing your utility bill.
Lower the ‘Stat ~ As the number of guests in the house goes up, the thermostat can go down. With the extra body heat (and cooking heat) you should be able to lower the temp in your house by a couple of degrees. It doesn’t seem like much, but can really add to the energy savings.
Water Heater ~ Ensure that the temperature on your water heater is not set any higher than 120 degrees. Any hotter and you’re just wasting energy. Also take the time to insulate the water heater. Both these things can really help lower your energy output.
Unplug It ~ If you’re leaving town, it’s understandable that you would want some lights on a timer. But make sure to unplug those hidden energy suckers. TV’s, computers, routers, and appliances that won’t be in use should be unplugged while you’re away.
Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling hopes that you have a wonderful holiday season and is happy to help you conserve energy during the holidays!