The holiday seasons are filled with cheer and merriment. As an ideal season for spending time with friends and family and for gift-giving, special dinners, and events. However, these additional expenses can be stressful, but rest assured, Smart Living has you covered. Sustainable living is among our favorite topics. It’s important to realize the benefits of saving energy and what it means for our local environment as well as general home costs.
We’ve put together a list of ways to save on energy, and thus expenses, this holiday season and for years to come. That’s definitely a gift that will keep on giving. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter below to receive more tips on sustainable living practices.
Why is Saving Energy Important
Saving energy isn’t only important for the holiday season. There are numerous studies conducted that indicate energy impacts on our environment, both at home and in our surrounding areas. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), buildings in the United States account for 39 percent of total energy use, 68 percent of total electricity consumption, and 38 percent of nationwide carbon dioxide emissions. Suffice it to say that small acts of energy-efficiency or even transforming your existing house into an energy-efficient home is a smart way to invest time and money.
The same study, established by the EPA, also shows that energy-efficient homes can enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems, conserve and restore natural resources, reduce waste streams, and improve air and water quality. These facts are especially important during the holiday season when energy consumption usually peaks for the year.
More on saving energy during the holidays below.
Energy Saving Solutions for the Holidays
There are numerous ways to employ energy-saving solutions to your home during the holidays. These are some of the bigger items to bear in mind when you’re decorating your home or cooking large meals for family gatherings. The great thing is some of these solutions can even be extended to your home throughout the year. Here are 5 ways to conserve energy this holiday season.
1. Light Up Your World
Decorative lighting is one of our favorite aspects of the holidays. Driving through Las Cruces, watching the twinkling lights that adorn homes and businesses creates a festive spirit that is hard to resist.
There are a few things that you can do to enhance the way you light up your world. For example, opt for LED lights. LED lights utilize as much as 90 percent less electricity than the usual Christmas decor lighting. In addition, LEDs also have a longer lifespan and can keep you from having to replace bulbs that continuously burnout. This is especially important if you love putting out decor early and extending it through to the new year. With LED lighting, you’ll use less electricity and reduce hour usage before replacement. That’s a wonderful reason to have your house sparkle with the merriment!
2. Limit Time for Lights On
While festive lights are definitely a staple for every holiday, they can be taxing. Running them from early morning to late in the evening can be a drain on electricity, not to mention, it’s a sure way to spike your costs. During a season of increased spending, it’s important to conserve energy and save money where you can. Opting for the LEDs, as mentioned above, is an ideal choice, but you should also think about setting your lights on an automatic timer. Optimize your energy savings by incorporating a timer that will turn on and off your lights at specific times of the day.
Similarly, instead of lights, also think about other sources for spreading the holiday cheer. Candles, for example, are a great way to kick-off the season and reduce reliance on electrical sources. Alternating between candles and lighting can also give your home a temporary break from continuously running power. Selecting festive candles can make your home feel warm and cozy during the fall and winter holidays, especially if you’ve selected a holiday scented variety. We’re partial to anything that makes a home smell like baked goods all day.
3. Lowering Your Heating Bill
Lowering your heating bill is a great way to save energy during the holidays. The great news about the holidays is spending time with family and friends. Not only does it bring people closer together, but all those warm bodies help to maintain comfort levels in a home. Go ahead! Turn down your thermostat when you have company over.
Another way to lower your heating bill is simply using alternative sources for heat. For example, if you’re cooking up a big feast, leave the oven open when finished. As the oven cools down, it can provide ample heat to bring up the temperature of your kitchen and common living areas. If your home has a fireplace, even better! A wood-burning fireplace, in particular, will give your heating appliances a break.
4. Holiday Cooking
Holiday cooking is an important part of the season. Warm get-togethers usually begin and end with food! What does this have to do with saving energy during the holidays? The great part about cooking is that it can be done in small or large groups. Instead of utilizing personal kitchens, bring the cooking to your family or friend’s house. Or, if you’re the host, allow others to cook with you. This will eliminate too many stoves and ovens running at once.
In addition, be sure to group your dishes! Let your oven do double duty. In other words, if you are able, bake multiple dishes at the same time to save on overall costs and energy use. Likewise, you can reduce the cycles on your dishwasher by only running it when you have a full load. As a last note, using a microwave rather than an oven to reheat dishes can save up to 50% on energy use.
5. Gifts that Keep Giving
Looking for the ultimate gift this holiday season? Why not invest in an energy-efficient HVAC unit? While it can feel like an expensive upfront cost, in the long-run, there are many benefits to upgrading your home’s HVAC system. A few reasons to consider this a gift for your home this holiday season include:
- Substantial savings on energy bills
- Reduce carbon footprint
- Improves the lifespan of your HVAC system
- Better airflow quality
- Easy to use and quiet
Even if a new HVAC system is not within your budget, purchasing gifts that are energy-friendly is also a great way to contribute to the reduction of energy waste. For example, opt for gifts that don’t use batteries or electricity. According to Energy Quest, 40% of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season.
Additionally, consider tech gifts that use rechargeable docks and DVDs, TVs, and phones that are Energy Star certified electronics. These devices use up to 60% less electricity than their competitors. Check out a full list of products that are Energy Star certified for gift ideas!
Happy Holiday from The Smart Living Team
From the Smart Living Team, we want to wish you and your family a happy holiday season! For more energy-saving tips, be sure to sign up for our newsletter below.
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