We’ve made a list, and we’ve checked it twice. Here are 12 helpful tips to keep your holidays safe and your energy costs manageable.
Tip 1: Keep your baking spirits bright. Don’t open the oven door to peek at your holiday goodies. Opening the door can drop the temperature, adding to cooking time and energy use. Try checking your treats by turning on the oven light instead.
Tip 2: Safety is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year! Put a carbon monoxide detector on your holiday shopping list or check your existing detectors to ensure they are working properly.
Tip 3: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow — but please, safely brush away snow and ice from your home’s natural gas meter and vents. The extra weight can stress or crack meter piping, causing a natural gas leak.
Tip 4: Make it the hap-hap-happiest season when you save money by turning down your thermostat a few degrees when you are nestled all snug in bed, while visions of sugarplums dance in your head.
Tip 5: It’s a clinker! Don’t let that blasted furnace leave your holiday story bitter. Schedule annual tuneups and change the filter regularly to keep it running safely and efficiently all winter long.
Tip 6: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Open-hearth fireplaces draw hot air from your home, sending it — and possibly your energy budget — up the chimney. Cracking open a nearby window reduces the amount of heated interior air drawn into the fireplace and improves efficiency by up to 20%!
Tip 7: When making the figgy pudding, match the pot or pan size with a similar-sized burner. This not only uses heat more efficiently, but also reduces cooking time.
Tip 8: Make dinner merry and bright with a tasty casserole. If you use glass or ceramic pans, try setting your oven temperature 25 degrees lower than the recipe indicates. Your hot dish may cook just as quickly.
Tip 9: Turn the oven off a few minutes early to finish cooking your roast beast. As long as the oven door remains closed, enough heat will be stored inside to finish your “Who” feast.
Tip 10: It’s the most wonderful time of the year … to lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. The average household spends about $300 a year on water heating costs. It’s an easy way to rack up big savings.
Tip 11: Keep Jack Frost from nipping at your nose by using weatherstripping and caulk to seal gaps around windows, doors and siding. This will improve your energy efficiency and leave you feeling warm and jolly.
Tip 12: All we want for the holidays is a blue flame on your natural gas range. That blue flame means your stovetop is working properly. A yellow flame is a sign that the range may need to be adjusted by a professional.