Home energy use can increase during the holiday season with travel, holiday gatherings and seasonal decorations. But you don’t have to be a Scrooge to conserve energy, save money and help the environment as you celebrate the season. Here’s a list of 10 simple ways to cut holiday home energy use (and yes, we checked it twice).
1. Unplug electronics before leaving town: TV’s, DVD players, computers, printers, radios and many other electronics use energy even when they aren’t turned on. Disconnect these phantom energy users before traveling for the holidays, or switch to a smart power strip that does the job for you.
2. Lower the thermostat when guest arrive: When the party starts, turn down the heat while holiday cooking and extra warm bodies automatically raise the temperature in your home.
3. Bake several dishes at once: Take advantage of the energy that goes into warming your oven by baking as many dishes at once as possible.
4. Avoid preheating when possible: Anything that needs to be baked or roasted for more than an hour doesn’t need to be put into a preheated oven. You can also save by turning the oven off 10 or 15 minutes before the dish is done.
5. Close the fireplace damper when the fire is off: Leaving it open allows warm air to escape out of the chimney.
6. Turn room lighting off when the tree is lit: You’ll have plenty of light simply by using Christmas tree lighting to illuminate the room. And your tree will look better than ever.
7. Use LED holiday lights and put them on a timer: Set the timer to turn lights on when it gets dark and off at bedtime. Aim to keep Christmas lights on for less than six hours a day.
8. Upgrade to a smart thermostat: Energy Star®* smart thermostat can help you save up to $50 a year† on energy costs while keeping your home comfortable.
9. Let the sunshine in: Open draperies and shades during the day to let in the warming sunlight and close them at night to reduce chill and cut down on drafts.
10. Don your winter apparel: Stay warm at home with your favorite ugly sweater or the onesie pajamas you received as a gift last year to avoid turning up the heat.
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*Source: ENERGY STAR® Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR® label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings.
†Source: EnergyStar.gov — Individual savings not guaranteed.