Home for the Holidays – Energy Saving Handbook
Your Guide to Saving Energy While Home for the Holidays
The holidays are a jolly time of year, full of family get-togethers, tasty meals, and memories that will last a lifetime. Because of all of that hustle and bustle, it can be easy to wind up using more energy than you mean to. Luckily, we created this handy guide full of energy saving ideas to help you this holiday season! We even broke it down into categories so that it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Let’s check it out together! Keep reading this blog post to learn the best ways to save on energy while home for the holidays.
Schedule Annual Heating Maintenance
If you have not yet had your heating system tune-up this year, then make sure you take care of that before the holidays. You want to ensure that your heating equipment is operating properly and efficiently. This will keep your furnace or boiler running smoothly and not run up your electric bill.
Fill Your Heating Fuel Tank
It’s always a good idea to schedule a fill-up of your heating fuel tank before it gets too low. This is for a few different reasons, including avoiding a no-heat emergency if you wait too long. If this happens, you could end up paying for more than your heating fuel, as run-outs can prove costly if they affect your heating system. Don’t risk your heating system’s health, or your family’s warmth this holiday season, so fill up your tank soon!
Related Post: Why Now is the Right Time to Fill Your Heating Oil Tank
We know it’s tempting, but don’t open the oven door to take a peek at what’s cooking inside. Turn on the oven light and check the cooking status through the oven window instead. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside which increases cooking time and wastes energy.
Keep Lids on Pots
A simple tip that is often overlooked: Keep the tops on the pots as they cook. Foods cook faster when the lid is on, meaning you’re saving on energy.
When cooking on top of your range, match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. Make sure to clean your equipment regularly to provide better heating and in turn save energy.
Bake Several Dishes at the Same Time
The holiday season is a big time for baking. Make the most of your oven and the energy that goes into heating it by cooking several dishes at once. Remember: it takes the same amount of energy to heat a full oven as it does a nearly empty one.
LEDs use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights, saving on energy usage during the holiday season, and reducing your impact on the environment. This is one of many ways to save on your electric bill at this time of year.
LED lights last up to 100,000 hours. Assuming you use your Christmas lights five hours a day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, that’s only 200 hours of use each year! How’s that for long-lasting?
Since LEDs use light emitting diodes (not incandescence) to produce light, there are no filaments to have burn out; and thus, no bulbs to replace.
Unlike traditional incandescent Christmas lights, LED lights do not get hot – that’s a big plus if you will be using them on a real tree; but really it’s a big plus period.
Limit the Time the Lights Are On
Wait until dark to turn on your decorative lights and don’t forget to turn them off before you fall asleep. Five or so hours a day is a good goal to limit your lights to. If you have trouble remembering to turn the lights on and off you could always try a timer! Making sure that your lights don’t stay on all night will help you conserve energy.
Going on a Vacation?
If you aren’t going to be home for the holidays, you’re not alone. A lot of people use the most wonderful time of the year to visit friends and family in other parts of the country. Check out our Away for The Holidays – Energy Saving Handbook to learn how to prepare your home for the times you’re away!
Related Post: How to Avoid a Scary No-Heat Situation This Fall
What About Your Work Space?
Lighting accounts for the largest use of energy in most commercial spaces. Turning them off is one of the simplest and most effective ways to conserve energy over a holiday break. Turn off all lights in the office space including desk lamps, overhead lights, kitchens areas, bathrooms, and hallways.
Unplug Electronics & Small Appliances
Some appliances use energy even when turned “off”. Look for any devices with clocks, lights, or remote controls as probable energy vampires and unplug them, or turn off the power strip to totally turn them off. Include items such as: computers and monitors, TV/DVD player, coffee maker, mini-fridge, microwave, printer/scanner/copy machines, and clocks/radios.
Set Back the Heat
There’s no need to heat an unoccupied space. Whether the office shares a thermostat or you have a personal fan unit at your desk, set the heating to 50-55 degrees or the lowest possible setting for the long winter break. Be sure to also check that all windows are tightly closed.
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We hope that you found these energy saving tips for the holiday season helpful. An additional tip we have is to schedule a heating system tune-up to make sure your furnace or boiler is running in peak condition. Remember that the more energy you conserve, the lower your energy bills will be after the holidays are over. Be to schedule a fuel oil delivery before the holidays kick off, and have a safe and happy season!