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Holiday Energy Saving Tips to Save You Some Green

December 21, 2018
holiday energy saving tips

The holidays are here, and that means friends, family, feasts, and frequent energy use. With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas right around the corner, you may want to consider how to improve your energy consumption for the coming holiday. Many of these energy tips can also be applied year-round to further help you save electricity.

  1. Holiday Decorating

    As your old strings of holiday lights burn out, replace them with LED strings. These strings are brighter, last much longer, and are 80% to 90% more efficient than the old incandescent strings of lights. Outside of the holiday season, Energy Star rated LED pathway lights as a great way to light up your walkway, many of which, are powered on their own by solar energy. By implementing timers or photo cells (when it gets dark enough, the lights automatically turn on), you can save even more energy.

  2. Food and Cooking

    Since it’s getting colder, you can actually store beverages outside or in a garage instead of a refrigerator to keep them cool. This method will keep a likely already overstuffed fridge from working hard to cool drinks as well. If you have frozen vegetables you’ll be using, let them thaw in the refrigerator instead of on the counter; this will help keep the fridge cooler longer. When packing leftovers, let them cool down before putting them in the fridge, to keep it from working harder to cool the food.

    When cooking food, use the smallest appliances necessary to cook or warm food. Microwaves use a little less of half the energy of a conventional oven, and crock pots use about 9% of the energy required by a microwave, hour for hour. If using an oven for baking, keep the door closed as much as possible. Every time the door is opened, you lose a lot of heat that the oven needs to regenerate. With stovetop use, make sure the pot or pan you use is the same size as the burner underneath. An undersized pot or pan can waste up to 40% of the energy from the burner. Cover pots when boiling water to help retain more heat and use less electricity.

  3. Cleaning

    Cleaning dishes, pots, and pans as you finish using them while you are cooking, can save you time and money. And cleaning a load of dishes by hand will save about 37% of the water used in a dishwasher. If you still plan to use a dishwasher, make sure you do as full of a load as possible. The washer uses the same amount of water and electricity, whether there are five dishes or fifty.

  4. Household Savings

    Switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED bulbs will save a fair amount of electricity for lighting. Unplugging electronic devices that are not in use will save you money and energy too, as even when they are not on, they still draw power. Use timers or motion sensors on lights to control when they turn on and off, maximizing their efficiency, even if you forget to turn them off.

    If you plan to travel this holiday season, shut off and unplug as many appliances in your home as possible. Microwaves, entertainment centers, and computers can all be shut off and unplugged to save electricity. Unplugging smartphone and tablet chargers when they are not in use also prevents a draw on electricity. Weather-stripping your home will help seal in warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. This will keep your home more comfortable, and reduce the amount of time your heating and cooling systems need to run.

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