The Holidays Are Here! Will Your Festivities Be Feasting On Your Home’s Energy Use?
The season of holiday entertaining is here – a wonderful time of uniting family and friends for celebration and extravagant feasts. But whether you’re preparing the eats or hosting a gathering, your holiday celebrations may take an unexpected toll on your home’s energy use. In fact, as much as 15 percent of energy in the average American home is consumed by kitchen appliances, devices, lighting and more. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to put on the most festive, entertaining parties while reducing your energy consumption, sparing your energy bills in the process.
Check out our tips to prevent your festivities from gobbling up your home’s energy bill!
Preparing the feast? Consider these tips:
- Use the oven window and light – Each time you open the oven door, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees. Use the oven window and light to check on your dish.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer well stocked – A full refrigerator or freezer reduces the amount of energy your compressor uses to cool the space each time the door is opened.
- Use smaller appliances – For smaller gatherings and dishes, consider using the toaster oven, electric skillet, slow cooker or microwave, which all use much less energy than your conventional oven.
- Cover foods stored in your fridge – Moisture from uncovered food forces the compressor work harder to cool the food and entire refrigerator.
- Avoid heat drying – When it’s time to clean up, keep in mind the heat drying feature on your dishwasher can use more energy than necessary. Skip this function, or better yet, ask a family member to show his or her thanks by hand-drying your dinnerware!
Celebrating the holidays at home? These tips may help:
- Prep your home – As part of your hosting preparations, consider caulking, weatherstripping and air sealing to reduce drafts as cold air can creep into homes through even the smallest gaps and cracks. It will make guests more comfortable and cut energy bills by as much as 30%.
- Use a programmable thermostat – Energy is often wasted heating and cooling empty homes. Installing a programmable thermostat gives your heating system a rest, especially when you’re visiting grandma or finding that perfect present. Remember that as much as half the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling, so it’s one of the best ways to easily reduce your use.
- Keep your guests comfortable – Turn down the thermostat a few degrees before your guests arrive. For every 1°F you lower your thermostat, you can reduce your energy use by 1-3%. Since more bodies translate into more heat—not to mention the heat produced by your kitchen appliances—you’ll keep your guests comfortable and your heating bill in check.
- Use the ceiling fan – Your first thought to keep people warm during winter holidays may not include using the ceiling fan. However, switching the fan to spin clockwise will spread heat that rise to the ceiling throughout the room, helping to keep guests warm even as the winter chill blisters outside.
Ready for more energy savings? Check out these helpful gadgets:
- Electric Crock Pot – Enjoy your party away from the kitchen. Use an electric crock pot to allow you to spend more time with your guests, and save money as it uses much less energy than a conventional oven.
- Motion Sensor Power Strip – If the party moves from the living to dining room, a motion sensor power strip can detect movement and shut off devices and electronics until the dinner is over.
- Radiator Insulation Panels – Allow your heater to take a break by installing radiator insulation panels that reflect heat of the wall and into the room, keeping guests warm and cozy.
- Device Charging Stations – No matter how many people there are to talk to at a party, people will still use their phones. Allow multiple devices to charge at once with a device charging station that will shut off power to devices that reach full charge.