6 Steps to Create a More Energy-Efficient Home During the Holidays
During the holidays, we open our homes to celebrate the joys of the season with family and friends. Our Seneca Gardens, Kentucky, homes fill with the scents of holiday baking, the glow of lights on our Christmas trees and holiday decorations, and the warmth of cozy fires in our fireplaces. Naturally, these seasonal activities also cause us to use more energy at this time of year. Learn how you can create an energy-efficient home by using LED holiday lights, cooking in batches, and using your heating system conservatively.
Switch to LED Holiday Lighting
LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are those tiny lights used on electronic equipment, in traffic signals, and in vehicle indicator lights. Unlike conventional incandescent light bulbs, which feature filaments, LEDs contain semiconductors. Today, you can find LED holiday lighting readily available in major home improvement stores and through lighting retailers. LED lighting requires much less electricity than incandescent lighting and does not emit heat.
Minimize Drafts and Heat Loss
When family and friends are coming and going, opening and shutting doors as they enter and exit, your home can experience heat loss through these openings. Similarly, cold air can sneak inside between gaps in door and window frames. To minimize the amount of heat loss your home experiences, use draft-blocking devices around doors and windows. Check areas around your doors and windows for cracks, and seal gaps with caulk to keep out chilly drafts.
Cook in Batches
From the Christmas cookies to the baked hams, our kitchens see a lot of cooking activity during the holidays. Each time you preheat the oven or turn your stovetop on, you consume about 4.5 percent of your home’s total energy usage, according to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Energy. Combine your cooking appliance usage with dishwashing and refrigeration, and you can begin to understand just how much energy you use in the kitchen.
To save energy, try cooking in batches. For example, maximize your oven’s heating by dedicating a portion of your day to holiday baking, so you don’t have to reheat your oven. Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load of dishes to wash. Minimize the number of times you open and close the refrigerator door.
Use Your Heating System Conservatively
When you’re expecting a large gathering of family and friends in your home, turn down your thermostat a few degrees several hours before your guests are due to arrive. Lowering the temperature will help to keep your home from feeling overly warm due to the increased body heat. It can also help you to save money on your utility bills by alleviating some of the work your furnace has to do to keep your home comfortable.
Promote Air Circulation Throughout Your House
Encouraging air to freely circulate throughout your house enables your furnace to efficiently heat rooms without trapping warm air in one space. You can promote proper air circulation by keeping doors to interior rooms open when the rooms are not in use.
If you have ceiling fans installed in family or living rooms, you can use these fans together with your home’s heating system to effectively distribute warm air. Set your ceiling fan’s blades to turn in a clockwise direction on low speed. This clockwise rotation circulates warm air that naturally rises toward the ceiling back down into the room.
Be Mindful About Furniture Placement
When you set up a Christmas tree in your home, you may need to rearrange your furniture to accommodate the tree. However, you should be mindful about where you position the furniture. Blocking vents with furniture or other objects can interfere with proper airflow.
Our professional service technicians can help you ensure your home’s HVAC system is working properly. Let us help make your home a comfortable place to entertain family and friends this holiday season. Schedule your HVAC system maintenance appointment by calling us at (502) 242-8204.
Image provided by Shutterstock
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