If you’re making your list and checking it twice, finding extra ways to save energy is always nice. Here’s how to cut back on your home-heating expenses this holiday season:
Ask Santa to upgrade your thermostat. Investing in a newer thermostat (and programming it to lower the temperature at certain times of the day in the winter) can save consumers more than 15% on energy costs.
Let the sunshine in. Keep draperies and shades open during the day but remember to close them at night to reduce chill and cut down on drafts from cold windows.
Deck the halls with LED lights. LED Christmas lights use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights.
Bake several dishes at once. If you’ll be doing a lot of cooking this season, take advantage of the energy that goes into warming your oven by baking as many dishes at once as possible.
Turn lamps off when the tree is lit. You’ll have plenty of light (and can enjoy the peaceful ambiance) simply by using the light of the Christmas tree to illuminate the room.
While hosting those parties, lower the thermostat. Having a few extra warm bodies automatically raises the temperature in your home.
Find and seal leaks. Be sure to seal air leaks around pipes, chimneys, outlets, and unfinished spaces. Don’t forget to caulk or weather-strip drafty doors and windows.
Put holiday lights 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.
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like leaving a window wide open because it allows air to escape out of the chimney.
Unplug electronics before leaving town. TVs, computers, printers, radios, and many other electronics use energy even when they aren’t turned on. Take the time to disconnect these phantom energy users before going away for the holidays.