During the winter season, it’s easy to see your energy bills suddenly skyrocket. Now that it gets dark earlier, people are turn their lights on sooner and are more likely to cook warm meals in the oven, especially with big holiday meals and other special holiday treats. There’s also the Christmas lights you use to decorate your tree or the outside of your home. Not to mention, you’ll be running your furnace more. It all adds up fast. There are lots of things you can do to help cut down on how much energy you use this time of year, but here are a few ways that people often overlook.
Use the Fireplace
Instead of turning the heat up to stay warm indoors, try using your fireplace more often to keep the chill away and remain comfortable. Wood-burning fireplaces can easily heat a living room or bedroom that they're in, which can make it easy to rely less on your furnace and use less energy. If you keep your furnace down and get more use out of your fireplace, you can always use blankets and sweaters to give you a little extra warmth if you’re still chilly. Best of all, when you have your fireplace to help out, you have the assurance of knowing you’ll have a source of heat and light if your power goes out.
Use the Right Size Dishes
When cooking for the holiday season, many people make the mistake of using casserole dishes or pans that are too large for the items that they're cooking. After all, it might seem better to use too big of a dish than one too small. Using the right size of a dish can prevent using more heat in the oven and therefore require less time to cook the meal.
Keep the Curtains Closed
Curtains and other window coverings are more than just a decorative statement, they can play an important part in keeping your home warm. It's important to switch out your sheer curtains for a ones made with a heavier material that can help to insulate the home and prevent the outdoor temperatures from getting in. The curtains should be opened in the mornings and during the day to allow sunlight in for extra warmth before they're closed when the sun goes down.
Switch to LED Bulbs If you haven’t started using LED bulbs yet, now is a good time to start. LED bulbs are more energy efficient. Incandescent light bulbs use 60 watts compared to LED bulbs, which only use six to eight watts when they're in use. This means that incandescent bulbs use an average of 3,285 kilowatts each year compared to LED bulbs, which use 329 kilowatts annually.