By Chris Balzer
May this Holiday season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and your life with laughter. This is sincere and we will speak or receive similar greetings this month. But for many, the holidays bring stress and not good tidings: finding the perfect gifts and wrapping them, the traditional cookies which need to be baked, the decorating, and the office parties. At the same time, it is likely that most households will use more energy causing increased energy bills.
There is good news. There are many ways you can reduce energy consumption and save.
Switch to LED lights when decorating. LED lights use 80 to 90% less energy than incandescent lights. If you aren’t sure if you have incandescent lighting or not, you can tell if you have incandescent lights when it is warm or hot to the touch. We recommend using a digital thermometer to test to avoid injury. It is estimated that 4 strands of LED lights will save $30 this month compared to 4 strands of traditional lighting. It is also a good idea to use timers to reduce the amount of time lights stay on and this provides one less thing to do or worry about.
When cooking the holiday feast, don’t forget about the smaller appliances. Crockpot’s and microwaves use less energy and give off less heat than ovens and stoves. Also consider co-cooking. If one dish needs to bake at 400° and the other at 350°, considering sharing the baking time and set your oven at 375° and bake both dishes.
Electronics are always a popular gift. You can get those electronics and save energy. When choosing electronics: TV’s, computers, gaming consoles, etc… always look for Energy Star qualified electronics. These qualified electronics use less energy and save energy. Rechargeable batteries and LED lighting may not be on top of anyone’s list but they make great stocking stuffers and saves energy. Also consider using smart power strips and turn off the electronics completely. Many electronics, even when powered off, still use energy. I call them energy vampires.
If you plan to leave this holiday season, think about automating your home. Put exterior and interior lighting on timers to avoid being on all day and night. Add a thermostat which you can control via Wi-Fi and your smart phone, in the event we get a cold streak or heat wave during the week you can control your home’s temperature and unplug those energy vampires which use energy even when turned off.
When shopping for groceries, buying local foods and goods not only supports our community but saves energy by reducing transportation related energy costs.
It is always a good idea to give your home an energy checkup by a professional. They can pinpoint your biggest energy loss areas and provide suggestions and solutions to become more energy efficient.
We wish you and your loved ones a Happy, Safe and Energy Efficient Holiday Season.
Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions and resides in the Santa Rosa Beach area with his wife and 3 Children. For more information on how to save money and become energy efficient schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit www.trusteces.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Beat the Heat.
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