With the holidays upon us there are many things on our minds, not most of which is how to save energy. The good news is that with a little planning and thinking ahead you can reduce energy use.
One topic you might consider is gifting. With TVs for example, many consumers take the initial cost into account when purchasing but often forget the cost of energy to operate it over the life of the product. The ENERGY STAR website is an excellent place to search for not only TVs but all types of energy efficient household appliances and electronics.
For decorations, you might again look to ENERGY STAR certified products like LED decorative light strings. These lights use 75% less energy than comparable incandescent decorative lights. In addition to their energy saving benefits, decorative lights that meet ENERGY STAR specifications do not have moving parts, filaments, or glass which enhances their durability compared to conventional lights. ENERGY STAR certified lights are also cool to the touch meaning they reduce the risk of starting a fire when compared to conventional lights.
Another thing to keep in mind is not only what lights you use but also how often those lights are on. There are a number of devices and timers to help you control when and how long your lights are on. These devices are also pretty inexpensive which makes them easy to justify, considering the potential energy savings, and you can’t complain about having one less thing to think about! Also, if you leave your home for the holidays, consider using a lighting timer for home safety.
Finally, a great FREE tip for energy savings, regardless of the season, is to adjust your thermostat. According to Minnesota Energy Resources, you can reduce your energy use by 1-3% for every 1° you lower your thermostat. This can be especially helpful if you leave your home for a few days. Alternatively, reducing the thermostat while you’re home does not have to mean making your house uncomfortable. Consider lowering your thermostat when entertaining, the human and appliance heat generated from all your day’s activities can offset the reduction in your thermostat temperature!
With these simple changes, you can reduce your energy use and focus on the more important things!