RenovationFind loves the holiday season! Decorating the outside of your home with colourful lights, Santa’s, snowmen and imaginative displays, putting up a Christmas tree, having your loved ones over for celebrations and holiday feasts – what’s not to love?
The escalating energy bill. We don’t love that.
There are some things you can do to be more efficient this holiday season, even with the extended use of the oven and your illuminating front yard light display. Keep the energy bill down and still enjoy your favourite things about the season with these smart holiday energy saving tips:
Save Energy with LED Lights
Did you know that an LED bulb will last up to 100,000 hours compared to the mediocre 1,000 hours for an incandescent bulb and just 10,000 hours for florescent lights? Plus they’re up to 90 percent more efficient using a fraction of the electrical input that a regular bulb does. When you’re choosing new lights for your outdoor Christmas decorations, investing in a few strings of LED Christmas lights is a smart choice.
LED Christmas lights come in a variety of colours, shapes and styles. They produce very little heat compared to traditional bulbs and are safer for both indoor and outdoor use.
Bonus tip: Did you know that your electricity rates increase during peak-use hours? Typically off-peak hours are 7:00PM to 7:00AM. Set a timer on your lights so they don’t turn on until after 7:00PM. In addition to the savings, you’ll also be home to enjoy them!
Save Energy Preparing the Meal
Good holiday meal planning will help you save energy. For example, plan what dishes will have to be baked in the oven and try to bake as many as possible at the same time.
Don’t open the oven door to check on the food unless you absolutely have to! Opening the door will lose 20 percent of the heat. Use the oven light to check on food.
Turn off the oven 15 minutes before the meal is done. The residual heat in the oven will be enough to complete the cooking of your food.
If you’re using the stovetop, make sure all of your cookware has smooth and flat bottoms so it makes complete contact with the cooking element. Pots and pans with warped bottoms can use up to 50 percent more energy than those with flat bottoms!
Always match your pots and pans to the size of the burner. Putting a small pot on a large burner can reduce the burner’s efficiency by almost half.
Use lids on your pots when cooking on the stove, especially if you are trying to bring something to a boil. This keeps the energy more contained so more of it is used to actually heat your food. Once you have brought something to a boil, turn down the heat to the lowest possible setting that will maintain a boil. Having your elements working at maximum power won’t cook your food any faster, but using a lid and maintaining a steady boil at a lower heat could.
Save Energy Cleaning Up
Now it is time to wash the dishes! Help your dishwasher out by making your loads easier to clean. You can do this by scraping off food, emptying liquids and giving them a manual pre-rinse in the sink with cold water.
Only run your dishwasher when it is completely full. Try using the light or short cycle. If you’ve made sure your dishes are easier to clean, the dishwasher doesn’t need to run at maximum power to finish off the job.
When you dishwasher is about to click to the dry cycle, turn it off and open the door to let the dishes air dry. If you do this instead of using the heat-dry option you could save 15-50 percent of your dishwasher’s energy consumption.
Of course, the most energy efficient way to wash the dishes is by hand. It may seem like a lot of work but with the right attitude it could be a fun bonding time for you and your family.
Save Energy with RenovationFind.com
There are many things you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency. You can install low-flow fixtures, replace all of your lights with energy efficient LED bulbs, replace old drafty windows and doors, upgrade to high efficiency appliances, replace your low efficiency furnace…the list goes on and on!
It might seem overwhelming at first, but if you make a list and start tackling these projects one-by-one you will eventually have a home that is energy tight, looks great, is more functional and better suits your lifestyle. Get started by contacting the accredited renovation companies and trades in our directory. We have trustworthy vendors that offer home improvement products and services for every interior or exterior repair or renovation. Start browsing the vendors in your city!