Energy-Saving Tips to Brighten Your Holidays
December 15, 2020
On the first day of Christmas, Union Power gave to me… tips and tricks to save energy! That’s right, we’re getting in the energy-saving holiday spirit here at Union Power, and we are sharing tips to help you save energy and money at home during the holidays.
- Install A Programmable Thermostat. Don’t pay for warm air that you aren’t using. By installing and setting a programmable thermostat, you can potentially save money on your energy bills. If you are traveling this holiday, be sure to program your thermostat for energy savings. If you own a heat pump, be sure not to increase your thermostat setting by more than two degrees at one time. This practice will eliminate the electric heat strips from activating and allow your system to operate efficiently.
- Maintain Your Fireplace. It isn’t the holidays without a crackling fire, but don’t let your energy bills go up with the smoke. Proper chimney maintenance – like sealing your fireplace flue damper (if you do not use your fireplace), caulking around your hearth, and installing tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system to blow warmed air back into the room – will help keep warm air in your house and cold air out. If you plan to have a cozy fire to enhance the season, be sure that your damper is indeed open.
- Prepare Your Windows for Winter. Before you curl up on the couch in front of the window this holiday season, be sure to take steps to reduce heat loss. Weatherizing your windows can reduce drafts, and installing storm windows can cut heat loss through your windows by 25-50%.
- Take Advantage of Sunlight. Use sunlight to your advantage this winter. Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to warm your home naturally, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
- Purchase Rechargeable Batteries & An Energy Star Battery Charger. If you are buying gifts that require batteries, consider purchasing rechargeable batteries — which are more cost-effective than disposable batteries — and an ENERGY STAR charger for them.
- Save Energy in The Kitchen. Between holiday baking and meal preparation, your oven is probably working overtime. Cooking alone accounts for 4.5% of your home’s energy use, and when factoring in other kitchen appliances, your kitchen’s energy use can be very high. By taking simple actions in the kitchen – like using the right-sized pots on stove burners and using the oven light to check on a dish’s progress to prevent heat loss instead of opening the door, you can entertain in style without raising your energy bill.
- Use LED Lights. This holiday, light up your home with LED lights. In addition to being sturdier and more resistant to breakage, LED holiday lights also last longer and consume less energy than traditional incandescent light strands.
- Install A Light Timer. When decking your house in holiday lights, use timer controls to lower energy consumption and save money. Timer controls allow you to turn lights on and off at specific times while staying in the holiday spirit.
- Plug Holiday Decorations into Power Strips. From holiday lights to listening to Christmas carols on repeat, the holidays can take a toll on your home’s energy consumption. Even when you aren’t using lights and electronics, they still draw small amounts of energy. Plug your electronics into a power strip and turn it off to reduce your energy bills.
- Drive Your Way to Fuel Savings. Whether you drive across town to do errands or across the country to visit family, fuel costs can add up over the holidays. One way to reduce fuel consumption is to empty your car after all your driving trips; an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could increase gas costs by up to $0.08 a gallon. Drive an electric vehicle? Learn how you can save by visiting union-power.com.
Ultimately, numerous steps can be taken to manage and potentially reduce your energy consumption this holiday season. Taking the initiative to be energy efficient will not only positively impact your finances, but it will also increase your home’s comfort. We at Union Power hope that
you have a happy and healthy holiday season and that you take extra steps to manage your energy consumption during this time of year.