Energy Savings Tips for the Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but this might not be true when it comes to your energy usage. Decembers on the Cape and Vineyard are notorious for being frigid and cold, with temperatures averaging around freezing and the promise of snow. Fortunately, the team at Cape Light Compact has collaborated on this list of helpful tips so you can save on heating costs this holiday season and better manage your overall energy use, giving you time and money to spend elsewhere!
- Install an ENERGY STAR® certified programmable or Wi-Fi-enabled As a Sponsor of Mass Save®, Cape Light Compact offers customers rebates up to $125 through 2018 to help cover the costs of new thermostats. In 2019, the maximum rebate offered will drop to $100. By installing a thermostat that is at least programmable, you can better manage your energy use by using the scheduling feature to control when your HVAC system is working and to what temperature. Some smart Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats are even compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, making them a great gift idea for any tech-fanatics.
- Prevent air leaks. You can address this in a number of different ways. The best way, and our primary recommendation is through quality insulation and air sealing, which can be determined through a no-cost home energy assessment. Participating is easy; call 800-682-8413. In the meantime, you can make sure doors and windows are latched tightly and use old towels or blankets at the base of your doors if you feel a draft to help prevent warm air from escaping. By limiting the drafts, you can help make your home feel more comfortable and cozy for you and your loved ones.
- Update your outdoor lighting to LEDs. December on the Cape and Vineyard means limited hours of sunlight. Whether you’re departing your home before the sunrises, returning home after it sets, or both, December is a dark time of year out here. Adequate outdoor lighting is important to have year-round for your own safety – especially in the winter with the risk of icy walk-ways. By updating to ENERGY STAR certified LEDs, you will benefit from the same amount of brightness as traditional bulbs but use up to 90% less energy. LEDs are durable, long-lasting, and most bulbs are compatible with motion detectors and daylight sensors. You can even find LED bulbs with daylight sensors built into the bulb to use with outdoor fixtures that don’t have a sensor built in. Cape Light Compact supports discounts on LED lighting through the Mass Save online marketplace. You can also find great deals on outdoor LEDs at local retailers with discounts provided by Cape Light Compact and the other Sponsors of Mass Save.
- Pay attention to your chimney. When your fireplace is not in use, closing the damper can prevent warm air from escaping from your home through your chimney. If you don’t use your fireplace often, it can be a weak spot for air leaks. To help eliminate drafts, consider installing a chimney balloon in your fireplace. You can even receive a $35 rebate through Cape Light Compact for your purchase! You might, of course, want to make sure you have a second entrance available in the event you’re expecting any visits from Santa Claus.
- Wash full loads only. This applies to your dishwasher, clothes washer, and clothes dryer. These appliances are far more energy-efficient when you add items that need to be cleaned so they are at their maximum capacity. This shouldn’t be too hard around the holidays with extended family popping in and out or older kids home from school – there might be more dirty clothes and dishes than you know what to do with! Take it a step farther by choosing appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified – they’re designed to maintain performance and functionality but are highly energy-efficient compared to non-certified models and can help to save energy.
- Entertain efficiently! If you’re hosting over the holidays, there are several ways you can entertain guests while still keeping in mind your energy usage. For starters, if you’re working in the kitchen, using the oven light to check whatever you’re cooking instead of opening the oven to check can help prevent heat loss. We know it’s hard, but try not to peek! Having a lot going on in the kitchen is bound to release some heat in your home, so it’s smart to keep an eye on the thermostat and keep it lower to save your heating system from working unnecessarily hard. Hosting over the holidays is also a great excuse to update the lighting in your dining room that may not get as much use regularly to new, ENERGY STAR certified LEDs, which are available in many decorative bulb styles.
- Unplug before vacation. Heading elsewhere for the holiday? Unplugging electronics that won’t be in use is a great way to limit energy waste. Even when electronics like your toaster, coffee maker, phone charger, or TV are turned off, they are still draining electricity. By being more mindful of unplugging unused electronics and turning off unnecessary lighting when you’re away from home, you can make an impact on your energy usage.