The Dos & Don’ts for Saving Money {+ Energy} This Holiday Season

We are thrilled to partner with Reliant again via this sponsored post. We all know the holiday season can be costly, so we hope you find these tips as helpful as we do!

December is a month filled with colder temperatures, elaborate lighting displays, and lots of cooking and baking. While these are all positive, wonderful additions to the holiday season, they also require a significant amount of electricity. In order to save you money on your electric bill as well as keep you safe while celebrating and decorating for the holidays, our friends at Reliant are sharing a wealth of knowledge on everything from energy efficiency to saving money!

DO

  • Did you know an electric heater uses up to THREE TIMES more electricity to warm your home than air conditioning?  When it’s chilly outside, keep your thermostat at 68 degrees … or even lower. For every degree above 68 degrees, you can expect an approximate three-to-five percent increase in your heating costs which adds up quickly!
  • If you have a fireplace and plan to use it, make sure your damper closes properly when not in use. Not using your fireplace?  Insulate the flue so the warm air in your home doesn’t go straight up the chimney.
  • Save electricity with energy efficient LED holiday lights, which use about 90 percent less electricity  than incandescent lights. Because LEDs are widely available now, they’re more affordable than ever.  Plus, they’ll save you money on your electricity bill! {Need to toss the old incandescent bulbs?  You can recycle old lights at your local home improvement store.}
  • Mom Hack :: Inflatable lawn decorations use BIG lights and motors without using a lot of electricity. They only cost about a penny an hour to operate, and the kiddos LOVE them!
  • In the kitchen, always let your leftover food cool slightly before refrigerating.  Otherwise, your fridge will have to work overtime to compensate for the added heat.
  • When cooking on top of your range, match the size of the pan to the burner. Doing so will minimize the heat lost around the edges to the surrounding air. For example, a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner wastes more than 25 percent of the energy used!
  • Consider other kitchen appliances to save electricity. Microwave ovens use about 75 percent less energy than conventional ovens … and they don’t heat up your kitchen! Slow cookers are also convenient and economical. On average, a meal cooked with a slow cooker costs less than 20 cents in electricity costs – SCORE!!

DON’T

  • Don’t run your holiday lights 24/7.  Look… We all know they are beautiful, but limit both indoor and outdoor displays to evening hours for when they’re most radiant {and to conserve energy}.  This can be easily done by using a timer to turn them off and on automatically – just make sure the timer is rated to handle the total wattage of your lights.
  • Whatever you do… Don’t overload electric sockets and extension cords! Thoroughly inspect light strands and discard damaged cords prior to use, and ensure that lighting used outside is rated for outdoor use.
  • As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to use more than three sets of lights per extension cord.  However, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation regarding the number of light sets attached to a single electrical outlet or extension cord. 
  • Be careful not to overload your circuits during the holidays. Watch for flickering lights, sparks from appliances or wall outlets, warm switch plates, plugs or outlets, and dimming lights or television screens.  Check these things often … and always!
  • Use your oven for holiday baking, not home heating. The energy used to bake a turkey for three to four hours will cost $4 to $7, but using your oven or stove to heat your home is dangerous and costly. As tempting as it is, don’t open the oven door to take a peek of {or sniff} the turkey! Opening the oven door can also cause the temperature in the oven to drop as much as 25 degrees.
  • At about $5 per month, refrigerators are economical to operate … but leaving your refrigerator door open is like leaving your front door open in the middle of summer. The cold air escapes, and the unit has to work harder to maintain the designated temperature. Instead, plan out exactly what ingredients you need for your dish and grab everything at once.

The next few weeks should be a time filled with family fun and wonderful memories. The last thing anyone needs is to worry about their electric bill or their family’s safety while trying to make the most of the season. We hope these energy saving and safety tips will ensure your family has the best and brightest holiday season yet!

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