Monday, December 9, 2019

12 tips to keep your house safe and your costs down this holiday season

We’ve made a list and we’ve checked it twice. Here are 12 helpful tips to make sure your holidays are safe and your energy bill won’t turn you into a Grinch.

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 25 degrees, adding to cooking time and energy use.

Tip 2: It’s a beaut, Clark! Switch to LED lights. They last longer and use less energy compared to incandescent lights. Just make sure you don’t overload your outlets.

Tip 3: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow — but please remove snow from gas meters. The extra weight can stress or crack meter piping, causing a natural gas leak.

Tip 4: Make it the hap-hap-happiest season of all by saving money when you lower your thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees when you are asleep or away. This can save as much as 10% a year on heating costs.

Tip 5: It’s a clinker! Don’t let that blasted furnace leave your holiday story bitter. Clean or replace air filters in your heating system to increase airflow and reduce the equipment’s energy use.

Tip 6: Baby, it's cold outside. Use a space heater safely by keeping wrapped gifts, tissue paper and draperies at least six feet away to reduce a fire risk.

Tip 7: When making the figgy pudding, match the pot or pan size with a similar-sized burner. It not only takes less time to heat but also uses heat more efficiently.

Tip 8
: Consider asking Santa for a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t already have one. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas and can be fatal.

Tip 9: Turn the oven off a few minutes early when roasting chestnuts. As long as the oven door remains closed, enough heat will be stored inside to finish cooking your meal for the last few minutes.

Tip 10: It’s the most wonderful time of the year … to lower your water heater to 120 degrees. It’s an easy way to rack up big savings.

Tip 11: As you deck the halls for the holidays, use weatherstripping and caulk to seal gaps around windows, doors and siding, which will improve your energy efficiency and leave you feeling warm and jolly.

Tip 12: We don’t want a “Blue Christmas,” just a blue flame on your natural gas range. That blue flame means your stovetop is working properly.