Holiday energy-saving tips

Can you be festive and frugal?

Absolutely, especially with these holiday energy-saving tips.

Entertaining tips

  • When using your oven, check cooking progress by looking through the window. Opening the oven door for even a few seconds lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25°F.
  • If your stove doesn't have a window, try not to open the door to check your food until it's as close to the expected finish time as possible.
  • Turn off your oven several minutes before your food is fully cooked. As long as the door remains closed, enough heat will be stored inside to finish cooking your meal.
  • If you use glass or ceramic pans, try turning your oven temperature down 25°F. Your dish may cook just as quickly.
  • When cooking on your stove top, match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost.

Heating tips

  • Set your thermostat between 66°F and 68°F, a comfortable range for most people. For every 1°F you lower your thermostat, you may reduce your energy use by 1-3 percent.
  • Start the heating season with a new furnace filter, and clean or replace it monthly to keep your furnace running efficiently.
  • Setting your hot water heater to 120°F can cut your water heating costs by 10 percent.
  • Open-hearth fireplaces draw heated air from your home, sending it and possibly your energy budget up the chimney. If you use your fireplace, install a snug-fitting set of glass doors and crack open a nearby window. Doing so reduces the amount of heated interior air drawn into the fireplace and improves efficiency by up to 20 percent.