The holidays are fast approaching and winter is right around the corner. As you prepare to visit with family and friends, I have a few recommendations for easy ways to make your home more energy efficient.
If you are the host:
- Begin at the front door. If you haven’t replaced your front door in a long time, it might be worth considering. Sometimes air can leak around old doors and according to Remodeling Magazine, a new front door can increase the resale value of your home by more than 100 percent. (To review the magazine’s national data about other remodeling projects, see their Cost vs. Value report by clicking here.)
- Deck the halls with LED lights. LED lights are known to use 90 percent less energy than traditional lights. According to the Sierra Club, the average family saves up to $50 on energy bills by using LED lights throughout the holiday season.
- Don’t overdo it in the kitchen. I’m not an executive chef but the long, slow cook that it requires for your turkey to effectively roast in the oven actually doesn’t require you to preheat your oven. When you’re using the oven, did you know that every time you open the oven door, research has shown that it lowers the temperature inside by nearly 25 degrees? If you have an oven with a window, use that instead. If you have an electric oven, you can turn it off several minutes before you need to take the food out. According to the California Energy Commission (CEC), if you use glass or ceramic pans you can turn your oven temperature down by 25 degrees and foods will cook just as quickly. When using the stove, make sure you match the size of the pan to the heating element. The CEC reports that when you put a six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner you can waste more than 40 percent of energy, which is quite a bit!
If you are the guest:
- Turn the thermostat down before traveling. You can reduce energy consumption by around 10 percent just by turning down your thermostat for 10-15 degrees cooler over an 8-hour time period. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), if you do this your heating bill may go down by about 5-15 percent. To review the DOE’s set limitations for homes with heat pumps, electric resistance heating, steam heat and radiant floor heating, go here.
To view more energy efficiency tips, visit the BGE HOME Energy Saving Center by clicking here.
BGE Home Products & Services, Inc. is doing business as Constellation Electric. BGE HOME is not the same company as BGE, a regulated utility. MD Electricity Supplier License #IR-228.