Holiday lights are twinkling, presents are purchased, and temperatures are dropping. It’s a wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest.
With all the festivities, we know you don’t have time right now for DIY projects—but we can help you make sure that when your spirits are soaring, your heating bills aren’t. We’ve rounded up a list of easy switches and (mostly free!) quick fixes to save on energy costs over the holidays.
1. Deck the halls with LED lights. Christmas lights make your house look festive, but old school traditional incandescent bulbs are energy hogs. Switch them out for LED lights, which use 90% less energy and last 10 times longer. To slash energy use even further, set those LED lights on a timer so they turn on at dusk and off at night once everyone is nestled, all snug in their beds.
2. You’ll likely be welcoming lots of guests to your front door during the holiday season. Make this festive wreath for your front door—but before you hang it, check for leaks that give cold air a way in and let warm, heated air escape. Eleven percent of residential heat loss comes through exterior doors, but you can cut back on that loss by sealing doors with weatherstripping:
and replacing worn, cracked thresholds with a new one. You can also slip a draft stop onto the bottom of the door to create a physical barrier for outdoor drafts.
3. If new windows are on your wish list but not in the budget this year, adding weatherstripping and window film to drafty old windows can make them much more energy efficient. The EZ Roll Cylinder Shrink Window Kit has a pre-taped edge and a built-in razor, making it an easy-to-install way to save money and energy. Watch this video [Add link to video here: https://www.frostking.com/tips-and-tricks/videos] for installation tips. On sunny days, make sure window blinds and curtains are open to let the sun’s warmth heat your home for free. (At night, be sure to close them again to keep cold air from seeping inside.)
4. Did you know that simply re-arranging your furniture could make your home feel warmer? Take a look around your rooms to make sure that heating vents aren’t blocked by furniture, rugs, or curtains, and add Baseboard Air Deflectors to vents to direct warm air downwards. This video shows you how:
5. If your rooms have ceiling fans, set them so they run counterclockwise—they’ll push warm air down from the ceiling so rooms feel warmer.
6. If you’re baking lots of holiday goodies, bake several things together so you reduce the amount of time your oven is on—just rotate the pans to ensure your baked goods cook evenly. But resist the urge to open the oven door to check on how things are doing because every time you do, the temperature can drop as much as 25 percent and your oven will have to use more energy to get it up to the right temperature. Instead, use the oven light to monitor progress. During a marathon baking session, consider turning down the thermostat and letting heat from the oven warm your home, and once you’re done baking turn the oven off and leave the door propped open to let the heat flow into the kitchen.
7. When the yule log is burning, make sure you’re getting the most out of your fireplace by only using seasoned firewood, which burns hotter, longer, and more efficiently than fresh wood. Keep the damper closed unless a fire is burning—leaving the damper open lets as much heated air escape from your home as a wide-open window.
8. Adding a smart thermostat can help you save around $180 on heating costs by automatically adjusting the indoor temperature so you use less energy when you’re asleep or not at home. gov recommends keeping the indoor temperature around 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit while you're awake and at home but recommends lowering it while you're asleep or away. If you’ll be away over the holidays, you can lower the thermostat so you’re not paying to heat an empty home, but don’t set the temperature any lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize the risk of pipes freezing and bursting if cold weather hits.