The tips below will help you save energy and money:
- Lower your holiday lighting costs by using light-emitting diode -- or "LED" -- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.
- It can be tricky to drive safely during the holidays when more drivers are on the road, some unaccustomed to driving in the dark or during wet or snowy weather, and some who are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or smart phones. Studies show you can avoid accidents and save energy by driving no faster than 65 miles per hour and can stay even safer by slowing to 55 miles per hour.
- Use appliances efficiently doing only full loads when using your dishwasher and clothes washer.
- Don’t open the oven door to take a peek at what's cooking inside. Instead, turn on the oven light and check the cooking status through the oven window. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside - by as much as 25 degrees - which increases cooking time and wastes energy.
- Look for ENERGY STAR appliances, fans and electronics if you’re taking advantage of holiday deals. Using ENERGY STAR products that incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 15 percent less energy and water than standard models throughout your home could save nearly $750 over the lifetime of the products.
- Use an electronic power strip for your electronic equipment. Many electronic devices and equipment consume unnecessary energy even when not in use. Often called energy vampires, these devices cost families about $100 a year. Use a power strip for electronic devices and turn it off when not in use to. Remember to unplug your chargers since they draw energy even when they aren’t connected to a device.
- Plug your home's leaks. Install weather-stripping or caulk leaky doors and windows and install gaskets behind outlet covers. Doing so can save up to 10 percent on energy costs.