Energy-Efficient Holiday Season Tips
As quickly as the approaching holidays kindle your festive spirit, the thought of upcoming energy bills can dampen your resolve. Although hosting guests and illuminating the house can make frugal energy practices seem like a monumental task, it’s not as unrealistic as you might think. Whether you’re planning to decorate, hosting guests at home or traveling during the holiday season, you don’t have to be a humbug to minimize energy waste and operate your home more efficiently. Simple changes to your holiday routine, some creativity and upgrades in your decorative inventory can have a major impact on your energy usage while kindling a new gleam in your seasonal decor. The experts at Blue Flame have put together a list of tips to help you have an energy-efficient holiday this season.
Upgrade Your Lights to LEDs
Among the major additional energy uses during the holidays are decorations, which often means lights and other electronics. If it’s been a few seasons since you’ve bought new lights, consider the advantages of upgrading from incandescent to LED light strands before you begin untangling wires and replacing spent bulbs.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED strands are not only brighter and safer, they use 70 percent less energy, produce less heat and last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. The lower energy consumption of LED strands has the added benefit of simplifying your installation, the Energy Department notes, by allowing you to chain up to 24 light strings on each power outlet.
Find the Right Bulb
If you’ve been holding out on making the switch to LEDs because of the quality of light, it might be time to revisit the issue. Light bulbs are not created equally, and today’s market for LED bulbs covers an array of light colors. In areas where “natural” light color is a must, look for “warm white” LED bulbs that have a Color Rendering Index (CRI) score closer to 100. CRI scores measure a bulb’s ability to accurately reveal color when compared to natural light. Finding CRI scores may require some research, but can be worth the trouble if you’re able to find the right bulb and reap the benefits of LED lighting.
Though lighting for Christmas trees and home exteriors make up a large portion of holiday energy costs, don’t stop looking for energy improvements there. When purchasing seasonal decor for your home interior and exterior, look for items that utilize fiber optics for light in addition to LEDs. Another option inside is to burn candles, or purchase electric candles, for mood lighting.
Get the Most Out of Decorations
Think outside the box when staging and purchasing decorations. For example, use tinsel and other reflective materials (within reason, of course) to get more mileage out of fewer lights. When putting up your lights, use space wisely. Don’t waste your valuable energy lighting up locations with an obstructed view, and space out your light strings to avoid redundant lighting.
Using energy efficiently during the holidays shouldn’t put a damper on the merry season. Leverage your resources in creative ways to do some of the heavy lifting for you. For example:
- Let your lights shine. If you have lights inside your home, dim other interior lamps and let your decorative lights carry the load.
- Spark up the fireplace; don your holiday sweaters. If you have a fireplace, use it for heat. Dress warm and lower the thermostat a few degrees to save on heating costs.
- Let guests bring the gift of heat. The addition of guests in your home generates activity and heat, so adjust the thermostat if you’ve got a full house.
- Dial it back. Skip the elaborate decorations and take a drive around the neighborhood to soothe your Yuletide yearning for eye candy.
Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning wants our Mountlake Terrace neighbors to have a safe and festive holiday season. Don’t let a faulty HVAC system spoil the fun! If you experience problems with your heating during the holidays, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have 24-hour emergency services available – even during the holidays! Call us at 206-388-5667 to schedule a service call throughout the season!