How to Save Energy at Christmas
The lights, the oven, the guests. Your house is a busy place at Christmas time and with all of the activity can come a higher energy bill. Here are a few smart ways to save some energy, and in turn money on your electric bill.
My parents had over two thousand lights on their Christmas tree. It was like the Griswold tree. It could probably be seen from space and they literally had to move it to another spot in the living room because where they had it was messing with the thermostat. Well, now they got smart and switched to LED lights on the tree. They are cooler, brighter and use way less energy than old traditional light strings. We can light a whole tree with LED bulbs and use the same amount of electricity as one seven watt incandescent light. LEDs last ten times longer than the old school bulbs as well. LED lights also look great for outdoor decorations. Just make sure to use a timer, so you aren't playing rock paper scissors with your kids for who has to go outside and unplug the lights; or worse, accidentally leave them on all night.
Switching out old light bulbs for CFL bulbs can save you $50 over the life of the bulb. We use the reveal bulbs all over the house because it mimics day light and I was so worried that the CFL bulbs weren't going to look the same, but the CFL reveal bulbs look better and the nice thing is that they have to warm up, so switching on the bathroom light at 4am isn't as harsh as it used to be. CFL bulbs also use less energy, so if the kids leave the lights on, it's not as big of a deal as it used to be.
If you're cooking a big meal, here are a few quick tips for saving energy and getting things cooked faster. When you need to check and see how brown the turkey has gotten, use the interior light instead of opening the door. That keeps the heat in and cooks your food faster. Also, glass or ceramic pans are great for the oven. You can set a lower oven temp for your food because they heat up faster than metal pans. If you need to cook side dishes, don't underestimate the importance of a crock pot, microwave or toaster oven.