green christmas lights

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes family gatherings, big meals and celebration. Along with these things can come higher utility bills.

In order to keep those costs down and be friendlier to the environment, you want to use as little energy as possible. We at Niagara-on-the-Lake Realty would like to offer some great tricks and tips to keep in mind so that you can enjoy a more energy efficient holiday season.

Longer-Lived Light Bulbs

Every home should be using energy-efficient HCL light bulbs. These have a long life and use less energy than traditional bulbs. Even if you are using energy-efficient bulbs, you can increase their already-long lifespan by installing dimmer switches. You can double the expected lifespan of your bulbs by dimming their brightness only by ten percent.

Coordinated Cooking

Plan your side dishes to heat up at the same time as your holiday ham or turkey, and at the same temperature. By cooking everything together in one oven, you cut down on how long you need to run the oven. This will help you use less gas or electricity.

Fire down the Furnace

Ever notice that while the big meal is cooking, your house gets rather warm? The heat from the oven and cooktop radiates through your home. When combined with the heat of a number of extra bodies in your house, you can drop the home thermostat by a couple of degrees and save money on heating costs.

Convection Cooking

Using a convection oven uses about one fifth less energy than other ovens. Whenever you can make use of that crock pot, roaster or microwave, you should do it! These appliances use much less energy than your oven does, and tend to be more efficient at what they do.

Plan Your Pots and Pans

Using the right pots and pans when cooking can greatly increase energy efficiency. Instead of metal, choose ceramic or glass options. These will give you similar results at a much lower temperature.

Doing the Dishes

Gathering around the kitchen for cleanup is a time-honored tradition. Unfortunately, it is not the most efficient or environmentally-friendly way to handle those dirty dishes. Do not use a ton of water rinsing off all of your dishes and filling the sink with a pool of waste. Instead, scrape your plates and use an energy-efficient dishwasher with an air dry setting.

To be even friendlier to the environment, separate meat-based waste from vegetable, and scrape the veggies into a composter. That way, when the weather breaks you will have fresh nutrients to spread around your lawn.

A few common-sense adjustments can greatly increase your energy efficiency over the holidays without placing undue strain on your celebrations. We hope you have a great holiday season and remember, if you are ready to buy or sell a home, give us a call today!