(NC) Between spending more time inside warming up from the cold, hosting holiday parties, and fewer daylight hours, it's no wonder our energy bills skyrocket during the cooler months. Do some good for your wallet and the environment with these winter energy savings tips.
1. Curb holiday costs. All that extra entertaining over the holiday season can wreak havoc on your energy consumption. Mitigate much of the damage by using LED lights with a timer, installing dimmer switches for mood lighting, and swapping in a low-flow showerhead, especially if you're hosting overnight guests.
2. Optimize your appliances. Did you know that wood-burning fireplaces actually let cold air in and allow heat to escape up the chimney? Switch to a propane one for all of the warmth and none of the drawbacks. Appliances that run on propane also typically have a longer life span and lower maintenance costs. Don't forget to schedule service for all your appliances to make sure they're running as efficiently as possible.
3. In the kitchen. Keep your propane or gas stove's burners clean to improve efficiency and stick to a medium flame. Use a burner appropriate to your pot's size and always use lids while cooking. Avoid sneaking a peak at how the turkey's doing — you lose lots of heat every time you open the oven door. Bake all your holiday goods at the same time to save on heating the oven each time.
4. Winterize your home. Weather-strip doors and windows, seal up any leaks with caulking, and clean the gutters. Let the natural sunlight help heat your home by opening curtains during the day and closing them when it gets dark. And don't consume energy while you sleep — automate your thermostat to lower the temperature to between 18 and 20°C overnight.
5. Power with energy efficient fuel. Consider upgrading your home from oil or electricity to propane for a more cost-effective and energy efficient power source. Modern propane furnaces can reach 95 per cent efficiency, providing up to 30 per cent savings compared to oil. And unlike electricity, propane prices have decreased over the last several years. Clean burning and non-toxic, it's also a greener fuel alternative. Find more information at www.superiorpropane.com.