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December 5, 2016
While celebrations burn bright during this holiday season, so does spending your money and using your home’s energy. Fortunately, a few simple tips increase the dollar and energy savings around your Colorado home in these memorable months. Here are a few general hints before we jump in. Watch for government and industry-approved energy saving logos on products to get the best quality and highest savings. Also, look for manufacturer rebates and coupons on holiday lights and more. And find out if your local utility company offers special savings for LED light displays. Learn more about energy saving lights and other ways to go green during the upcoming CO holidays.
All holiday celebrations seem to include light. Unfortunately, the sparkle of twinkling lights results in a dazzling electric bill. Employ these actions to reduce your home’s holiday energy costs.
Set the Mood
Candles create ambiance and holiday aromas during the holiday season. Encourage everyone to turn the lights off. Consider lanterns and battery-operated candles for a safe light source if you are wary of open flames. Use your decorated tree to light the room for reduced energy usage. With plenty of light and magic, this one item enhances holiday celebrations and memories. Luminaries along walkways outdoors decrease the need for energy consuming lights. Again, battery-powered options increase safety.
Time It Up
Energy expenditures fall with the use of light timers. Bringing the lights on when the sun sets prevents excess energy use during the day when the visual impact is significantly less. Plus, there is no need to light a runway for Santa (he will find his way). So, use the timer to turn off lights as everyone sleeps.
Motion, Time, and More
Traditional timers, extension cords with built-in timers and motions sensors, light up the holiday and not your electric bill. Lights plugged into extension cords which can be switched off add up to savings.
Choose LED energy saving lights. These bulbs prove 80 to 90 percent more energy efficient than traditional lights. LEDs offer other benefits which especially delight parents and pet owners.
Here are some of the reasons why LED lighting has become such a popular holiday choice:
— Last longer (even ten times longer).
— Decrease socket overload.
— Reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
— Cool to the touch.
Switching out bulbs in lamps and outdoor fixtures for LED options amps up the savings. Plus, solar light fixtures work even in the darker days of winter.
Think Outside the Box
Using fewer lights may seem Grinch-like. However, clever tricks give your home a holiday glow with less light investment. For instance, use reflective ornaments and surfaces to magnify the quantity of light already on display. Consider colored flood lights to bathe the house exterior or colored bulbs in outdoor fixtures for festivity at a less expensive cost.
Inclement weather and winter temperatures draw us inward and raise our energy needs. A few suggestions help lower heat costs associated with the holiday season and winter months which follow.
Snuggle in at Night
Programmable thermostats turn temperatures down during night time hours. If your heating system relies on manual control, simply make it a habit to bump down the numbers before retiring to bed. Take advantage of piles of cozy blankets and energy savings as your family sleeps.
Cozy up by the Fireplace
Nothing says holiday like flickering flames. Plus, using the fireplace also heats your home while allowing you to turn down the thermostat. Remember to close the flue after use (not during) to keep heat inside. Regular fireplace maintenance checks improve heating efficiency as well.
Crank up the Festivities
Entertaining friends and family bring celebration and body heat into your home. Reduce thermostat settings to capitalize on savings during holiday gatherings. This also keeps your guests from overheating in those holiday sweaters.
The holiday aromas and tastes bring memories and celebrations which simply say, “home.” Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 15 percent of home energy consumption occurs in the kitchen. Fortunately, ways to save energy and family traditions exist.
Prepare Before the Holiday
Efficient operation of ovens and stoves saves cash. Check your oven temperature to ensure proper cooking times. Clean range tops to eliminate grime that hinders energy efficiency.
Holiday comfort foods lend themselves to slow cooking. Break out the slow cooker and forgo the oven for energy savings. Also, opt for the microwave rather than the oven for smaller dishes. Microwaves create a 50 percent or more energy saving.
Size it Just Right
Saving money in the kitchen means matching pot sizes to burner diameters. Using a small pot on a larger burner yields 40 percent energy loss. Also, make the most of the oven space. Cook multiple dishes simultaneously, if possible.
Put a Lid on It
When cooking on the stove top, a lidded pot reduces cooking time and therefore, energy use. Make sure to use the oven light to check food progress. Opening the door lowers cooking temperatures by as much as 25 degrees, and that increases cooking times and energy loss.
Practicing a few simple habits during the holiday season ensures celebration with plenty of energy savings. And, you may just find the extra cash to buy your sweetie that must-have gift.
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