The holiday season is officially here — which means there’s an excellent chance that your home is decked out in a festive array of lights and decorations! While those trimmings may bring tidings of good cheer, they could also be increasing your utility bill and lowering your humble abode’s overall energy-efficiency.
Here are some pro tips to keep in mind to celebrate the holidays in the most energy-efficient ways possible.
Energy-Saving Holiday Tips for Homeowners
Don’t Block Vents
Sure, a snowman decoration might look fantastic in front of a heating vent — but putting him there will do more harm than good. As it turns out, if a vent doesn’t have enough “breathing room,” there’s a chance that your home’s comfort system will unevenly distribute heat.
Another thing to consider is that if you place particular objects in front of a heating element — such as a real tree — there’s a chance they could create a fire hazard. So, if you’re looking around your home while reading this blog and notice that there’s a decoration placed in front of (or too close) to a vent, consider moving it to a new, vent-free area.
Get an Electric Timer
If you have an illuminated winter wonderland on your front lawn, do you sometimes forget to turn the lights off before sunrise? While it's lovely to have that holiday spirit glowing for hours on end, it can rack up your electricity bill to a not-so-festive total. To help cut back on your energy consumption, consider investing in an electric timer!
Electric timers are relatively inexpensive and allow homeowners to set a schedule when lights will turn on and shut off. Having this gadget can do a series of wonders — primarily since it can be used all year long for many different electrical objects, such as the lamps in your living room!
LED is the Way to Go
Did a strand of lights play their “final performance” in your home? Instead of running to the store and replacing them with another set of incandescent bulbs, consider making the switch to LED bulbs!
LED (short for ‘light-emitting diode’) lights use a small amount of power to operate and don’t get hot when they’re left on for long periods. Another perk about LED bulbs is that they last up to 50,000 hours and won’t need to be replaced as quickly as incandescent bulbs.
Unplug Anything Not in Use
Did you ever hear of the term “standby power”? This means that when something is plugged in but not in use, it still draws power — which can increase your overall energy consumption. Whether it be a holiday decoration or a television set in the guest bedroom, if you haven’t used it in quite some time, consider unplugging it.
Another thing to consider is unplugging any laptops that have fully charged. Keeping these computers plugged in while they’re on “sleep” mode can still draw a startling amount of power from your home. Furthermore, if you have cell phone chargers plugged in — with no phone attached — consider removing them from the outlet.
Find Other Ways to Stay Warm
When the winter months are present, you may find yourself cranking up the thermostat a little higher than usual. When that happens, you’ll be using much more energy than you realize. To give your heater a break, consider using other methods to stay warm — such as leaving the blinds open during the day.
By doing this, you’ll be letting the sun’s powerful rays shine directly into your home, causing the space to heat up. Another way to make sure that you’re utilizing the sun to its fullest potential is to invest in insulated curtains that can trap that heat in your home all day long!