The holidays are a magical time, and it’s also the most expensive time of year for many of us. Here are tips to reduce the financial burden with efficient ways to use less energy at home and lower your monthly bills.
If you are hosting guests, your household will consume more electricity than normal. Be prepared with efficiency basics:
- Have your thermostat programmed at 68 degrees when you are home and dialed back by eight to 10 degrees when you leave the house or go to sleep.
- Run the clothes washer on cold with full loads.
- When not in use, turn off lights and the TV; fully shut down computers and gaming systems instead of putting them in sleep or standby mode.
- Use the oven light to check the food. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by up to
- 25 degrees, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
- When possible, make use of a slow cooker, microwave, toaster oven, or warming plate, which uses less energy than an oven and stovetop.
- Let hot food cool to room temperature before placing it inside the refrigerator. This ensures you don’t increase the temperature inside your fridge and cause it to use more energy to cool down.
- LED holiday lights consume 70% less energy than conventional incandescent light strands.
- Use light timers so you don’t have to remember to unplug your lights every evening. You can also choose to upgrade to smart holiday lights that offer a wide range of app-controlled options, including time, colors, music, and modes.
If you’re visiting family and friends during the holidays, prepare your home to use less energy while you’re away.
- Water heating is the second-largest energy expense in your home, accounting for about 18% of your utility bill, according to DOE. Switching your water heater to vacation mode will reduce wasted energy by keeping the water at a lower temperature. If your water heater does not have vacation mode on the dial, you can adjust it to the lowest setting.
- Set your thermostat to around 55 degrees so you’re not wasting energy to heat the home while you’re away.
- Consider upgrading a lamp or fixture to a smart lightbulb. This allows you to control lights from afar and set a schedule for the light to go on and off.