November 17, 2010
As we start looking toward the holiday season, some of you might notice a sudden jump in your utility bill and be wondering why? Here are some tips to help you keep those electric bills off the naughty list.
- Holiday lights and decorations use energy.
Save energy by switching to LED holiday lights. You can keep all the festivities for much less energy.
- Holiday entertaining involves extra cooking and baking, which requires extra electricity.
Try using your microwave for smaller dishes while saving your oven for larger items, like turkeys. Also make sure you’ve cleaned your refrigerator’s coils and check to make sure its seals fit tightly when the doors close. This will help ensure that just because you are working hard in the kitchen, you’re appliances won’t be doing overtime.
- Holiday guests mean more hot water for showers, laundry and dish washing; more heating and lighting in guest rooms; and more cooking.
Consider installing a thermal wrap around your water heater. Also, try washing your clothes in cold water and remember to clean the inside lint filter before each drying cycle.
- Shorter days and longer nights mean lights stay on longer, both inside and out.
A standard 100-watt lamp costs roughly a penny an hour to operate, so consider replacing it with an energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb and always remember to turn the lights off when you leave the room.
- With colder temperatures, space heaters are often used in garages, basements and other places to provide warmth.
Remember to turn these units off whenever you are not using them and check the seals around any pipe penetrations coming through the walls. Air that transfers in and out of homes through cracks, crevices and holes increases energy consumption so caulk or add weather stripping around doors, windows and any other openings.
- Even if you don’t use electric heat, many heating systems use electricity to power fans and functions.
Clean or replace your filter and have an HVAC technician check carefully for duct leaks inspect your system to make sure it is working properly. Also keep inside and outdoor coils clean and free of debris.