It’s the holiday season, and with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, families will gather to give thanks and celebrate over delicious foods. It’s easy to forget about energy consumption when surrounded by your loved ones or swept up in the chaos of the holidays. However, it’s easy for energy bills to creep up during this time of year due to increased cooking and hosting guests. The good news is, there are simple tips and tricks that can be applied to keep your energy use in check.
If hosting guests for a Thanksgiving feast, here are some surefire tips to keep your energy costs down:
- Turn the thermostat down ahead of time. Both the heat from the oven and body temperatures will increase the temperature of your house.
- Add weather stripping to all exterior doors to prevent air leaks and keep cold air out. This will help keep your house warm without having to raise the thermostat.
- Use LED lights. LED lights use at least 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts, and they even offer dimmable options. Not only do dimmers provide ambiance to mealtime, but every time a bulb’s brightness is reduced by 10%, you double its lifespan.
- Speaking of lighting, make it a habit to turn off all lights in unoccupied rooms.
- Use the microwave instead of the oven whenever possible. Microwaves use less than half of the power of a typical oven, making them both more efficient and faster.
- When a microwave just won’t do, it is recommended to use a gas grill rather than the oven to roast. Grills burn cleaner and cook a lot quicker.
- If you do have to use an electric oven, avoid the temptation to open your oven door to check on your food. Each time it is opened the temperature drops by 25 degrees.
- Additionally, cook as much of your meal as you can at one time. Even foods with differing cooking temperatures can be cooked together at one temperature. A 25 degrees Fahrenheit difference in either direction will still produce good results while saving energy.
- Utilize a cooler with ice instead of the fridge. This will help keep cold air from constantly escaping the fridge when used by a lot of people. It will also free up space for all those scrumptious leftovers!
- Refrain from placing hot foods immediately into the fridge; wait for foods to cool down so the fridge doesn’t have to run harder to counteract the excess heat.
- When it’s time for cleanup, refrain from using your oven’s self-cleaning cycle unless absolutely necessary. Minor splatters and spills should be able to be removed with a damp cloth. If you do have to use the self-cleaning feature, start the cycle immediately following cooking when the oven is still warm. Alternatively, wait until after peak hours when the cost of electricity is at its lowest.
Are you traveling instead of hosting? Here are some ways to be efficient as you travel.
- Unplug “vampire” electronics and turn off lights before leaving home.
- Don’t pay to heat an empty house. Either turn down your thermostat or use the “vacation” mode to avoid unnecessary heating costs.
- Driving? Check your tire pressure before hitting the road. Underinflated tires can both be dangerous and lead to increased fuel consumption.
- Additionally, attempt to stay within the speed limit to help your vehicle maintain optimal fuel economy. Once you exceed 50 mph, your gas mileage decreases quickly.
These life-hacks are simple, yet instrumental in reducing your energy consumption and saving you money. Consider these while spending time with family and educate them on simple ways to conserve money this Thanksgiving. And remember, Thanksgiving is just the start of the holiday season. Implement these tips to celebrate energy efficiency all season long. Happy holidays!