7 Ways to Conserve Energy at Home This Holiday Season

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One of the best things about the holiday season is the food. But all that baking, cooking, and preparing for holiday parties can wreak havoc on your energy bills. To help keep your energy bills under control this holiday season, here are seven ways to conserve energy in your home.

1. Keep the Oven Door Shut

When you’re baking this holiday season, resist the urge to open the oven frequently to check on your food. Each time you open the oven door, you can reduce the temperature inside by up to 25 degrees, which forces the appliance to use more energy to restore the proper cooking temperature. Rather than opening the oven door, turn on the oven light and peek through the window.

2. Use Your Small Appliances

Many of us turn to our oven or stovetop when cooking for the holidays, but in many cases your smaller, lower-energy appliances can get the job done. Before pre-heating your oven or turning on the stovetop, consider using your crock pot, toaster oven, microwave, or warming plate instead. These appliances use less energy than the stove, which can help keep your costs down.

3. Lower the Thermostat While Cooking

Another great way to conserve energy at home this holiday season is to lower your thermostat a few degrees when you’re cooking. Your oven and stovetop generate a lot of heat while you’re using them, which can help keep the temperature in your home comfortable without using the furnace or boiler. You can also consider turning down the thermostat during holiday parties, as the body heat from all your guests will help keep your home warm and cozy.

4. Use Glass or Ceramic Pans

When you use glass or ceramic pans, you can actually turn your oven’s temperature down by up to 25 degrees and still achieve the same cooking results. Ceramic and glass pans retain heat well and will continue to cook your food even after you’ve removed them from the oven.

5. Don’t Hand-Wash Dishes

Rather than hand-washing your dishes after a holiday party, use the dishwasher instead. Your dishwasher uses less hot water than washing by hand, so reserve hand-washing only for items that aren’t dishwasher-safe. To conserve even more energy, only run your dishwasher after you have it fully loaded, and stop the appliance before the heated dry cycle begins (just crack the door open and let your dishes air dry instead).

6. Use Lids to Retain Heat

Believe it or not, you can conserve energy at home this holiday season simply by using lids on pots to retain the heat. Dishes you prepare on your stovetop will heat up faster, and thus require less energy to prepare, if you keep a lid on the pot or pan.

7. Cook Multiple Dishes at Once

If possible, try to plan dishes that you can cook at the same temperature, simultaneously. For example, if your side dishes cook at the same temperature as your main dish, you can reduce the amount of time the oven needs to run and the amount of energy required to prepare your meal. Plus, this will make things easier on you during one of the most hectic times of the year.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and food — but that doesn’t mean your electric bill has to suffer. This holiday season, keep your energy costs under control by using these seven tips for conserving energy at home during the holidays.

Interested in other ways to reduce your energy bills? Learn how choosing the right residential electricity plan can help keep your costs down. To learn more about residential electricity rates and how to gain control over your energy bills, visit IGS Energy today.