Tis The Season For Savings
The holiday season is in full swing, which means a home full of family and friends staying for the holidays. With all the laughter, memories and good food, also comes an increase in utility usage.
More people staying in the home means more toilets flushed, more showers taken, and more lights left on for longer periods of time. When you add in the cold weather and holiday lights that many people have plugged in, it can make for a shock when you get your utility bill in January.
Here are some tips you can use before company arrives to help keep your utility bill at bay in December:
- Make the switch to LED Christmas lights! Transitioning your holiday lights to LEDs can reduce energy consumption and save you money. LEDs are 80-90% more efficient than traditional lights with the added benefit of being shatterproof, shock-resistant and cool to the touch for inquisitive children.
- Limit shower time. Seriously – set a timer to help keep shower time short when you have overnight guests. Replace older shower heads with WaterSense labeled high-efficiency shower heads. They use two gallons per minute or less. You’ll use less water and there will be hot water for everyone. It’s a win, win!
- Turn down the thermostat. Before company arrives for a dinner party, turn down the heat. It may start out a little chilly, but between the oven and all the extra body heat, the room will be plenty warm (and save you money, too)!
- Use a light timer. Put your holiday lights and décor on a timer. If everyone goes to bed at midnight, there’s no sense in using electricity in the wee hours of the morning. Use a timer to turn on lights when it gets dark and to shut off when you go to bed.
- Remind guests to turn off lights. Remember when your mom hounded you about turning off lights in rooms you weren’t using? Now’s the time to remind your guests of the same thing.
- Be mindful when cooking. Keep your home from getting too warm with guests in the house and do your baking in advance. Additionally, if you’re using a crockpot, be sure to turn it off when the cook time is finished.
- Run full loads of clothes or dishes. There’s bound to be a lot of clothes and dishes to wash when there’s more people at home, but make sure the washer is completely full before running a load of clothes or dishes. You’ll save water and energy.
- Unplug items when not in use. Many chargers for phones, laptops, game consoles and small appliances waste electricity when they remain connected to outlets but not in use. Multiply that times how many extra folks you have staying at your house and the savings will add up!