From our friends at Home Warranty of America...
Celebrating your first holiday season in your new home is a special milestone. We hope that this year is exceptionally memorable. However, all the necessary tasks such as cooking, baking, heating, lighting, and cleaning can run up your bills faster than Black Friday shopping. That's why HWA is dishing up several of the best ways to conserve your home's energy this holiday season.
1. Kill two birds with one oven. As we all know, holiday season centers around delicious, home-cooked food. Try cooking as many dishes in the oven at once - reheating and readjusting the oven zaps energy.
2. Be the dishwasher. Make the post holiday meal a time to bond over the sink. You'll save water and the energy it takes to heat it by filling sink basins with soapy water and washing and drying them yourself. If you do decide to use the dishwasher, make sure it's completely full before running so you can cut down on the number of loads you must do.
3. Manage your fireplace. The hearth is the ultimate energy saver. Make it count by turning down the thermostat to 60 degrees or lower and closing the door to that room. Just don't forget to close the flue when you're done!
4. Decorate with candles. Adorn your home and walkway with luminaries for a beautiful yuletide glow that won't run up energy bills. To ensure your luminaries are safe, be sure to weigh bags down with sand or use a battery-operated, flameless candle.
5. Appreciate the small things. Miniature holiday lights will twinkle just as long and brightly - while using about 70% less energy than the larger bulbs.
6. Speaking of lights...standard incandescent lights consume thousands of gigawatt hours each year. Avoid these energy hogs and switch to LED holiday lights, which will save you about one-fourth of that in just one season.
7. Cool it. Setting your water heater to "normal", or 120 degrees Fahrenheit, could save you over 10% in water heating costs.
8. Stay in control. Invest in a programmable thermostat, which will help moderate the temperature in your home while you're out on a shopping marathon or visiting Grandma's house. It is estimated that programmable thermostats can save you almost $200 in energy costs every year.
9. Follow the Star. Take advantage of Energy Star's "Home Energy Yardstick", where you can assess your current energy use and receive tips on how to enhance your home's energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and increase comfort. Learn more about how HWA supports eco-friendly Energy Star products here.
10. Go with the flow. A dirty air filter can slow air flow, putting more of a burden on your entire system. Replace your filter every month to save between 5 -10% on annual energy costs.