With your annual holiday party right around the corner and the kids’ Christmas lists growing, this time of year can get pretty expensive. Like many consumers, you’re probably looking for ways to save some money, but Black Friday shopping might not be the best option.
Sure, there are some good deals, but do you really want to play tug-of-war over a Dancing Baby Groot at 5 a.m.? Cutting your home energy costs is an easier and safer way to keep money in your pocket.
Here are a few ways you can save energy this holiday season:
Reduce heat loss
When the weather outside is frightful, the last thing you want is heat escaping from your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste up to 30% of your energy use. That means anytime you feel a chill from under a door or near a window, you’ve got more money leaving your pocket.
Here are few common areas for air leaks to check in your home:
- Door and window frames
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Attic hatches
- Around pipes and wires
Luckily, this is a quick fix. Install weather stripping or apply caulk, whichever is appropriate, to any drafty areas of your home. Someone at your local home improvement can help you pick out the right materials for the job. It might take you an afternoon, but it can save you a lot of money this winter.
Adjust the temperature
Cold weather always makes it tempting to crank up the thermostat, but blasting your heat isn’t very energy efficient. During the day, keep the temperature as low as is comfortable and at night, lower the heat even more.
To make it easy, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. By programming day and night temperatures, you can save energy without even thinking about it. Still looking for ways to stay warm? Matching family Snuggies might be a nice Christmas gift.
Maintain your heating system
Scheduling routine maintenance on your heating system is crucial to keeping it running efficiently. It’s best to have your system serviced by a professional at the beginning of the season, but it never hurts to have it done a bit later. Heating systems last longer and work more efficiently when they are properly serviced.
Having your chimney serviced is another smart move during this time of year. Why? Besides preparing it for Santa Claus, it’s also a good idea because clogged fireplaces pose the risk of a chimney fire.
Boost holiday lighting efficiency
Holiday lights are beautiful, but they also can drive up quite an energy bill. If you don’t want to get stuck overpaying for holiday cheer, then you should consider purchasing energy efficient light-emitting diode holiday lights. LEDs consume far less electricity than incandescent bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs also are safer and last longer than regular holiday lights.
To save even more of your energy during the holidays, consider putting your holiday lights on a timer. By using a timer, you won’t ever have to worry about turning them off and on. Timers are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at home improvement stores as well as major retailers.