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Top 5 Ways to Save on Energy Costs This Holiday Season

christmas-tree-83122_1280The smell of freshly baked cookies, the warmth of your living room with a glowing Christmas tree or holiday décor, and the sound of family and friends laughing and reminiscing are all things we love about the holidays. Unfortunately, spending more time (and more energy) inside a comfortable home comes with a price. Here are the top five ways to save on energy costs this season:

 

Cook Smart

Holiday cooking something that everyone looks forward to, whether it is preparing the food or eating it! When cooking on your stovetop, always use the right-sized pan and burner for each job. While we don’t tend to think about it, this can save a great deal of heat and energy that your stove has to produce.  Keeping the lids on your pans while cooking can also reduce heat loss and save energy.

 

Use a Digital Thermostat

Preferably a programmable thermostat, the benefits of having a digital thermostat are endless. Simply adjusting your house’s temperature by one degree can save you up to 10% on your energy bills. With a programmable thermostat you can set the temperature to decrease while you are not home or asleep and increase when you need it. This way, you are not wasting any heat that you are not home to use.

 

Use Electric Timers

After a fun night with family and friends, we say goodbye, clean up and by then we are usually ready for bed. In the midst of all of this, it is easy to forget to turn off lights or decorations.  Leaving your outdoor or indoor Christmas lights on not only hurts your electric bill, but could also cause a fire. Fortunately, inexpensive outlet timers can switch your lights on and off at a set time.

 

Mind the Gaps

While we all know not to leave doors and windows open during the winter time, sometimes we forget to check for air leaks and worn out weather strips. Feel for cold breezes that are escaping in and be sure to fix them accordingly.  Conversely, you can use some gaps to your advantage. For example, when you have just taken a meal out of the oven, leave the oven door cracked open to heat the house more efficiently as it cools down.

 

Fill to Capacity

When possible, fill the dishwashers or washing machine completely before running a cycle. Doing this saves on water, heating, and electrical expenses.  Make a habit of this to save money and keep your appliances living longer.