Whether Christmas or Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Festivus, the winter holidays are a time of bright holiday lights, social gatherings…and a big energy bill? We’re afraid so. The winter is at its coldest even in Florida, up north commuters are dealing with icey and snowy driving conditions, and most of us put a kilowatt or two worth of regular Christmas lights on the house. For most households, the timing of the increased bills couldn’t be worse, either – it’s no fun to try to scrape up the money for presents with a three-digit electric bill weighing down the budget!
Luckily, there are some very simple ways to reduce your energy consumption, save energy, and save money this winter. You don’t have to be Scrooge to know the wisdom of saving a few dollars during the holidays – and the nice part is, you don’t really have to sacrifice much at all in order to realize substantial savings. A few of the biggest expenses that you can cut out of the budget without feeling like the Grinch: obsolete traditional incandescent lights, putting on a holiday season light show for nobody, wrapping up your water heater, and gas money for shopping trips that you could have done cheaper from your living room and shopping for energy efficient household appliances.
Replace Old Lights with New LED Christmas Lights
You don’t need to get rid of your decorative lights, just replace them with energy saving ones. There are ways to make this expense, one of the largest line-item energy costs and energy waste categories for many families, less of a burden.
First off, if you haven’t done it already, it’s time to put those old incandescent light strings out to pasture, or at least get them on a retirement schedule. You can replace them with LED strands that are extremely beautiful, durable, and far, far cheaper to operate. If you don’t want to replace all your holiday lights with LED lights all at once, do it a little at a time. Start with a few outside lights or replace your Christmas tree lights first.
Many serious lighting aficionados will buy entirely new lights every year anyway; if that’s not you don’t sweat it, but as old strands fail, replace them with the new LED lights, not with more incandescent lights. LED lights will reduce energy costs and wasted energy.
Get What You’re Paying For and Save Money
It never ceases to amaze energy auditors – sometimes folks will have every holiday light blazing at 3 PM or confusing late-night drivers with their automated Santa display and light show running at 3 AM. Manually activating lights day in and day out will quickly put a damper on your holiday spirit. Have happy holidays and reduce energy usage.
Another energy savings tip includes using a simple timer, available at any hardware store, which will have your display whirring along when it’s dark, and then going silent when there’s nobody around to see. Don’t set your lights to turn on before sunset; when to turn them off depends on your neighborhood and the tightness of your budget. Many homeowners only run the lights until 10 PM or so – if you have a lot of night owls who will enjoy seeing your display later than that, by all means, leave them on longer. But get what you pay for – if nobody can see the lights, or nobody is awake to watch them, then do your wallet a favor and use less energy by showing off your lights when people can enjoy them.
Get a Blanket for Your Water Heater
When your water heat warms up your water, it’s consuming energy. One easy and budget friendly way to help your water heater is to purchase a blanket for it. This isn’t any old throw blanket. Most hardware and home improvement stores will carry these for fairly cheap, around $20-30 depending on what size you need. Adding a simple blanket to your heater can keep it from working so hard and become more energy efficient. You will see significant savings in your heating costs with this simple trick.
Shop Smart and Save Energy
Think about your gas costs when doing gift shopping, not just the cost of the gifts themselves. If you drive 30 miles to the mall and come back with a $20 gift, then after buying fuel you’ve really spent closer to $30. Sometimes buying local is the solution that saves the most money – but quite often, the efficiency of online shopping (no gas, no parking, no commute time, no repeat trips to stores) is far more cost-effective.
The holiday season can also bring sales for energy efficient household items. Be on the look out for energy star rated appliances which could increase your homes energy efficiency. Shop around and see how has the best deals or rebates.
Get Help With Energy Efficient Experts
There’s no better place to get advice about energy savings than the experts. if you live in the Tampa, Florida region and need more information on how you can cut your utility costs, contact Energy Monster today. Our expert team of energy specialists will give you the rundown on how you can make your home the ultimate energy efficient home.
How can you make your holiday season more energy efficient? Let’s recap all of our tips. First, it’s time to replace those old Christmas lights with LEDs. Second, try setting a programmable timer for when the lights will turn on and off. Third, wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket to keep the heat in during winter months. Fourth, why not shop online this year instead of going out into stores and use unnecessary gas money? Also, consider purchasing new energy efficient household appliances when holiday deals come up. Give yourself the holiday gift of a no-cost home energy assessment and see how we can save you money today. Call us today at (855) 928-8123.Return to Blog