Energy Efficiency The Ultimate DIY Holiday Gift Guide

Published on December 4th, 2017 | by Guest Contributor


Holiday Energy-Saving Tips

The holidays are almost here, and can be both a joyous and financially stressful time. With cooler weather, more time spent indoors and appliances running overtime, your bills might be higher than usual. But the holidays don’t have to be expensive and wasteful. Here are 10 tips to help keep your utility bills low and your home efficient even as you host guests, run errands, and cook feasts during the holidays. 

Wishing you a happy and green holiday season!

  1. Invest in LED Christmas lights. LEDs are more efficient, use 90% less energy than incandescents, and last much longer. They also stay cool to the touch and produce much less heat in your home, so your A/C doesn’t have to work as hard. They’re bright and pretty, too!
  2. Set up timers to reduce vampire loads. Did you know that a device can still use energy when plugged in, even if it’s turned off? By plugging your lights or appliances into a timer, you can automatically turn your lights on and off, eliminate vampire loads, and save energy and money. Learn more about how to use timers here.
  3. Use your oven efficiently (no peeking!) Use your oven light to check your holiday baking. Opening the door causes the oven to work harder and use more energy to reheat itself. Every time you open the oven door, the internal temperature can drop 25-75 degrees, and it will require more time and energy to fully cook your food.
  4. Use smart food storage habits. Hot food placed immediately into your fridge will make the appliance use more energy. Let your holiday cooking cool to room temperature before you put it in the fridge. If you are defrosting something, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge so that when it thaws out, it helps the fridge stay cold, saving energy.
  5. Power your yard decorations with the sun. Save energy while spreading the holiday spirit! Charge solar-powered lightbulbs, hanging ornaments and lawn decorations during the day to keep your home festive at night without costing you any extra money.
  6. Match pot to coil size (don’t cook the air!) Cook a small pot on a small coil rather than a large coil so you’re not wasting 30-40% of the energy needed to cook your food. Also consider the “pasta principle”: turn off the burner a few minutes before your grains are fully cooked and allow the residual heat to finish cooking them.
  7. Buy energy efficient gifts. Buy your loved ones the electronics on their wish lists while making smart energy choices with Energy Star certified products. Electronics, appliances, lighting, and office equipment all receive Energy Star labeling and can use up to 60% less electricity than non-Energy Star labeled electronics. Find a list of qualified products here.
  8. Combine errands to reduce the number of trips you take. Plan to combine multiple errands into one trip to be as efficient as possible. Also keep your tires inflated to the proper PSI for fuel efficiency, as your car’s fuel efficiency can drop 0.3% for every PSI a tire is underinflated.
  9. Turn down the thermostat when you have guests. Turn down the thermostat during holiday gatherings. Your house should stay warm when it’s full of warm people, hot food, and a hot oven and stove!
  10. Use rechargeable batteries. If you buy or receive electronic gifts, consider purchasing rechargeable batteries and a charger to save money and reduce waste.

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