When the holiday season rolls around, most people spend more time at home. There's present wrapping to do, family parties to prepare for, and fun movies to watch with the kids. While the holiday season can be very enjoyable, it can also lead to an increase in energy bills. Follow these strategies to keep your energy bills from giving your sticker shock this holiday season.
Don't block the heating vents.
For most families, the holiday season means temporarily re-arranging furniture to accommodate a tree and perhaps some overnight guests. When shuffling furniture around, make sure you're not blocking any heating vents. If you block the vents, you'll be wasting heat – and your furnace will have to work harder to push air through the system, leading to higher energy bills.
Resist the urge to bump up the thermostat.
Regularly, when everyone is out of the home for the day, you probably program your thermostat to turn down a few degrees to conserve energy. Suddenly, when everyone is home all day during the holidays, you are tempted to keep the home warmer, leading to an increase in energy bills. But, you don't necessarily have to turn up the thermostat to be comfortable. Try keeping it at the temperature you normally let it drop to during the day, and persuading family members to bundle up. Wearing warm, comfortable sweaters feels right around the holidays anyways, and with all of the holiday baking and scurrying you're doing, you'll warm right up.
Use your holiday lights sparingly.
Lighting up the outside of your home or your holiday tree helps put you in the mood for the season. However, there's no need to power these lights constantly. Save electricity by ensuring you turn them off during the day. You may also want to consider just leaving the lights on for a few hours in the evening, and then turning them off when you head to bed. The neighbors have their own lights to enjoy!
Bake in batches.
Instead of turning on the oven to make gingerbread at 1:00, letting it cool off, and then turning it back on to make some sweet potatoes at 5:00, try doing your cooking and baking in batches. Do all of the cooking you need to do while the oven is on so you don't have to waste energy by turning it on again later. It costs less to bake those sweet potatoes and gingerbread at the same time!
For more ways to save on heating, ask a professional.