Five energy-saving tips for the holidays

Ways to save energy this holiday season.

Posted by Stacie Nielsen on November 16, 2017

Holiday Energy Saving Tips

1. Lighting

Lights are a huge part of the holidays, mainly due to decorations. Unfortunately, it also means that your bills can increase during this time. However, there are some ways that you can light up your home in a cost efficient manner.

  • Use LED lights in your decorations. According to Energy Star, LEDs are “exceptionally energy efficient” in comparison to regular incandescent bulbs. These lights can not only help make your decorations sparkle, but can save you money.
  • Use fiber optics. There are many decorations that now use fiber optics, so explore and try something new. Most times these fiber optics don’t even need bulbs!
  • Decorate with candles. There are even battery-powered look-alike candles, if you’re not comfortable with lighting actual candles. These can help light your home along with adding some design.
  • Use your regular light fixtures less. You can easily use the light from a Christmas tree or a string of lights to illuminate your home. 
  • Turn off your lights. Many people want to share their beautiful set-ups with others, but there are times when you’re not using them or others are seeing them, such as at night. If you feel that you must have the lights on at night, then set them on a timer; that way they turn off at some point in time. This will save energy and cost.

2. Unplug

If you tend to travel during the holidays, there are some things to take into consideration before you leave that can help save you save energy while away. One tip is to be aware of phantom energy users in your home. Here are a few items to unplug to save energy while away:

  • TVs
  • DVD players
  • Computers, monitors and their cords
  • Printers
  • Radios/stereos
  • Battery chargers

3. Heat

As colder temperatures seep into your home and bones, you may reach for the thermostat and increase the temperature to stay cozy and warm. This year try to find other ways you can keep that cold out.

  • Body heat. If you are having guests over for the holidays, that can increase the temperature in your house. At those points, reach for your thermostat and turn down the temperature. You’ll still be warm and you can save energy.
  • Blankets and flannel. Keep blankets around the house and use those to stay warm during the day and at night. Change your bedsheets to flannel ones that can keep heat in. This can also help you reduce the set temperature, but keep warm.
  • Cooking. Holidays tend to mean lots of good food; but to get that good food, someone must cook it. If you are cooking and/or baking for the holidays, turn down your thermostat. The heat from you cooking and baking with help keep the house warm and smelling good.
  • The natural sunlight. While the sun isn’t always shining during the colder months, there are still days where it shines bright. Take advantage and open your shades/curtains and use that warmth to help heat your home.

4. Appliances

If you’re hosting the holidays, try to be efficient as possible with cooking and baking. Try to cook and bake multiple dishes as the same time. This may mean you have do to some calculations on cook time and temperature, but it can save you energy calculations later.

5. Cleanup

After the gorging on food and fun, the least fun part of the holidays comes: cleanup. When the dishes are piled high, you tend to turn to the trusty dishwashers to help make cleaning easier and streamlined. However, there are still ways that you can save energy while using your dishwasher.

  • Try to load your dishwasher as full as it can safely be. This can help reduce the number of loads you have to wash.
  • Choose the “air-drying” function to avoid the “rinse hold” setting OR if you don’t have that setting, you can simply open the door after the washing cycle and air dry your dishes.

There are many more ways that you can save energy and money during the holiday seasons. Implementing just one can help you save energy!

Wright-Hennepin wishes you a happy and energy-saving holiday season!

Stacie Nielsen

Stacie Nielsen

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