The chestnuts are roasting, Jack Frost is nipping, and choirs are singing Yuletides. The holiday season is upon us! With the glow of the Christmas tree, the hum of the train sets and the blinking of the life-sized Rudolph’s bright, red nose, can come a hefty energy bill after the season has passed. Here are ten tips from Energy Wise and Alliance for Affordable Energy to help you save on your energy spending while still celebrating the spirit of the season:
1. Use tinsel and reflecting decorations instead of traditional holiday lighting. Using reflective decorations will look fabulous and will cut your energy use dramatically.
2. Upgrade your light display to LED lights. LED technology uses 90% less electricity than traditional light bulbs, emits less heat (so you won’t have to worry about little hands getting burned) and will last much longer than hundreds of fragile incandescent bulbs.
3. Use automatic timers for outdoor lights. Chances are not many people are paying attention to your glowing reindeer display at 2:00 am on a Monday night. Set an automatic timer for your outdoor display so you aren’t using electricity while everyone’s snuggled in for their long winter’s nap.
4. Unplug light displays during the day. Simply turning your lights off will not save you as much money as you’d like. Be sure you completely unplug the tree, or use a power strip.
5. Upgrade to a Fiber Optic tree. These trees are a fun new twist on the traditional Christmas tree. Having a Fiber Optic tree will reduce your waste and there’s no need to add lights. Plus you’ll avoid the hassle of trying to attach the tree to the top of your vehicle. Sounds like a win-win to us!
6. Purchase a living Christmas tree. Purchase a living tree that you can bring inside during the holidays and keep outside the rest of the year. You can keep this tree in your family for years. This is a great option for families looking for new holiday traditions. Plus your tree will offset carbon emissions all year long!
7. Light up your home with candles. Candles are a fun way to get in the holiday spirit. We are fans of rechargeable tea candles. Less energy use and no fire hazards.
8. Turn the thermostat down when you have visitors. Having more bodies in your home will create more heat. Don’t be afraid to decrease your thermostat a few degrees. Use your guests natural body heat instead of increasing the temperature on your thermostat.
9. Don’t leave those heavy packages in the trunk of your car. More weight in your car means your car uses more gas. Get a little exercise and lug those packages inside.
10. Fight the temptation to check on your cookies. Don’t open the oven door until the dish is ready! Opening the oven door to check on your dish can reduce the temperature by up to 25 degrees, therefore requiring more time to cook and more electricity used.
11.Use alternative kitchen appliances. Your oven isn’t your only friend in the kitchen. Use your toaster oven. Or use your crock-pot for hearty holiday recipes.
12.The sun is your friend! Keep curtains and blinds open during the day so that the solar rays can enter and warm your home. When the sun begins to set, close the curtains to keep warmth in.