5 Tips for Energy Savings During the Holidays

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Photo courtesy of Modernize.com

Energy cost represents a significant portion of most people’s monthly budgets, and during the holidays the electric bill can get especially high. Typically, only the mortgage or rent payment surpasses the monthly cost of an electricity bill. Consequently, conserving energy usually results in saving money, which is especially important during the holidays. This is because the holiday season is accompanied with a plethora of expenses including gifts and decorations that may put a strain on finances; however, by following the five tips below, consumers may save money on their electric bills, and instead, focus on celebrating with their loved ones.

Use Energy Efficient Lights

Light emitting diode or LED lights consume 90 percent less energy than traditional lights according to the U.S. Department of Energy. For those who love to decorate, purchasing LED Christmas lights can save hundreds of dollars on electricity bills and reduce the cost of decorating. Families who are interested in saving year round may want to trade out the traditional bulbs in their home with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), which consume 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs according to Life Science.

Lower the Thermostat Temperature

Turning down the thermostat as low as it’s comfortable may lower the cost of heating bills by about ten percent during the winter according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Those who have a programmable thermostat may set a time to turn down the heat while no one is in the house or while people are asleep under the covers. During a holiday party, consumers may turn down their thermostat even lower and still keep warm due to the increase in body heat.

Turn the Lights Off and Unplug Devices

Consumers should limit the amount of time they leave their holiday decoration lights on. It’s best to purchase lights that come with a timer, and turn off the lights at midnight when it’s unlikely anyone will see the decorations anyway. For those with a lit Christmas tree in their living room, turning off the lights in this room may also save energy since the tree’s lights likely provide enough brightness on their own. Finally, unplugging all home electronics while they are not being used will reduce energy costs since most electronics consume energy when they are plugged in.

Improve Heating Efficiency

Drafty windows permit heat to escape a home. By covering all of the windows in a home with a plastic sheet, frame or film, consumers may ensure less heat escapes their house during the winter season. This means less energy is used to keep a home warm. For an extra boost, families with south facing windows should open their curtains during the day, allowing the sun’s natural heat to warm a home, and they should close the curtains at dusk to prevent the heat from escaping.

Lower the Water Heating Temperature

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating accounts for about 15 to 25 percent of a home’s energy costs. As a result, turning down the water heater setting can save electricity. The department recommends turning down the water heater to 120 degrees fahrenheit. This will not only save money on electricity bills, but it will also prevent homeowners from burning their hands with scalding water. Those traveling during the holidays should completely turn off the water heater until their return.

Be sure to check out Part One and Part Two of the Clean Energy Series: Savings for Homeowners, for other ideas and great videos as well as Modernize for more home energy efficiency ideas.

Christmas lights, green holidays, energy savings

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hopkins via Flickr

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Author:Tim Smith

Tim is energy efficiency and home improvement contractor. He enjoys DIY projects and spending time with his family.

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