December is an expensive month, between all the gifts you have to buy, holiday entertaining, and paying the electric bill for your massive lights display. Why not save some money with these holiday energy saving tips?
Not to mention all the harm we’re doing to the environment by wasting electricity and fossil fuels this time of year. Do your part to save the planet by following these simple holiday tips for saving energy.
Save some cash and the planet with these 15 holiday energy saving tips
Holiday energy saving tips about decorating
Check out these holiday energy saving tips for creating a festive atmosphere with minimal electricity:
1. Engage your creativity
For your holiday decorating, why not try some creative ideas instead of energy-hogging string lights? Lots of glitter and live greenery can do wonders to create an ambiance of holiday magic without using any electricity. Pinterest has millions of ideas!
2. Switch to LEDs lights
If banning the Christmas lights might cause a revolt in your house, you can at least switch to LED lights. It may seem like a small change, but this is one of the most valuable holiday energy saving tips! According to energy.gov, LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. Make sure you choose Energy Star rated strings, and use the right ones for indoors and out. While you are at it, why not replace the bulbs in your lamps and light fixtures with LED bulbs at the same time?
3. Use timers
Even with LED light strings, there’s really no need to keep them on 24 hours a day. Stick to using them in the dark hours only. But relying on remembering to turn them on and off isn’t the best strategy. Instead, you can get an inexpensive timer with a built-in photocell that turns lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Better yet, set the timer to turn them off at bedtime. Just make sure that the timer you choose is rated to handle the total wattage of your lights.
4. CHOOSE Safe candles
Instead of turning on the lights in the evening, why not relax with the warm glow of candles? But this holiday energy saving tip’s all about safety: we recommend using the safe, battery operated kind. The last thing you need during the holiday season in a fire. If you must use the real kind, put them inside glass votives, keep them out of reach of children and pets, and set a timer to remind you to extinguish them.
Holiday energy saving tips about home heating
Keep your home warm while using less fuel with these holiday energy saving tips:
5. Turn down the thermostat
Even as the weather gets colder, your home is probably heating up due to all the holiday baking and extra people in the house. Turn down the thermostat to save fuel: even a few degrees can make a noticeable difference in your utility bill. You can always pile a few extra blankets on the sofa and your bed!
6. Be careful with your fireplace and space heaters!
Here are more holiday energy saving tips with a safety warning: home heating is the second highest cause of fires in the home. When you turn down the heat, you may be more inclined to use your fireplace and even space heaters. Be careful with both!
- Clean the chimney flue each season before using the fireplace, and keep kids and pets at a safe distance. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Space heaters can be very dangerous. Read our related blog to learn more: Space Heater Alternatives: Better Ways to Eliminate Cold Spots
7. Get a home heating tune up
Has your heating system been using much more energy than it used to? It probably needs a good cleaning and a tune up. Just like your car, your furnace or boiler runs more efficiently when it is regularly maintained. BONUS: Did you know that furnace maintenance also prevents breakdowns? Now is a great time to get that done, especially if you have been noticing other problems like inconsistent heating or water leaks.
Furnace Troubleshooting: 8 Signs Your Furnace Needs Maintenance
Don’t Let Furnace Water Leaks Ruin Your Holiday
Repair or Replace? A guide to making an informed choice when your HVAC system is down
Holiday energy saving tips about gift giving
Here are some holiday energy saving tips you may not have thought of: buying the right gifts to save electricity.
8. Choose energy-free gifts
Just say no to buying gifts requiring electricity or even batteries!
9. Electronics: look for Energy Star
If your gift list must include electronics, make an effort to choose Energy Star rated devices and appliances. Look for the Energy Star label that tells you the estimated yearly cost to operate the product.
Holiday energy saving tips about cooking
Cooking uses lots of fuel and electricity: cut your usage with these holiday energy saving tips.
10. Plan a baking marathon
Planning to bake lots of cookies, pies or other goodies for the holidays? It’s more efficient to have one baking marathon and run the oven all at once than to bake separate batches over days or weeks.
11. Fill the oven
If you don’t have time for a baking marathon, at least maximize the use of your oven. While you’re cooking dinner, why not throw in a batch of cookies at the same time?
12. But don’t peek inside!
Resist the urge to open the oven door to check on what you’re cooking. This habit not only wastes energy, it can slow down cooking and wreak havoc with your baking results. Check by looking through the oven window whenever possible.
13. Choose the right appliance for the job
It’s no surprise that your oven uses a lot of energy. Keep in mind that you can often use the microwave, toaster oven or crock pot for many cooking tasks, all of which use less energy than the stove. In fact, a crock pot can cook an entire meal for about 17 cents worth of electricity.
Holiday energy saving tips about traveling
Remember these holiday energy saving tips when you’re on the go this season.
14. Don’t drive more than you need to
In New York City, driving is a hassle (especially in midtown these days!) so skip the trip to the mall and save the gas and tolls. On those gridlock alert days, walking is so much easier. Why not enjoy the holiday décor in the city while getting your shopping done?
15. Unplug before you go out of town
If you’re traveling out of town for the holidays, remember to unplug appliances and anything that drains power when not in use (like computers and cell phone chargers).
- We hope these holiday energy saving tips come in handy and help you save some cash. Please feel free to share them with other you think might enjoy them.