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shutterstock_233578708If you’re one of those people who thoroughly enjoys the holiday season, it’s safe to say that things are going to get a little more hectic during the next couple of months. Multiple trips to the grocery store are expected, and you’re going to be doing a lot of prepping for parties, potlucks, school performances, get-togethers, and much more! During all of that, you’re probably going to ignore your energy usage habits, and that’s completely understandable. However, there are ways that you can be energy conscious while enjoying the chaos of the holidays!

1) KITCHEN: In all its glory during these next couple of months, your oven is going to need all the breaks it can get! There are some pretty easy ways to be more energy efficient when using your oven. For starters, those who have ovens with electric stove tops can take advantage of the heating elements. When cooking on a stove top, turn off the elements early and you’ll still benefit from residual heat for several minutes. You can also do the same with your oven. You can even leave the oven open after cooking is complete to add a nice little heat wave to your house at no added expense.

2) BEDROOMS: Since Old Man Winter will be upon us before we know it, let’s review some great tips on how to keep warm while keeping the electric bill down. BUNDLE UP! Wear socks, slippers, sweaters and stay bundled in comfy blankets to keep warm rather than turning up the thermostat. Weather-strip your windows! Properly prepping your windows for winter is essential to controlling energy costs and to keeping your rooms nice and cozy!

3) GARAGE: Most people think of a garage as an extension on the outside  of the house, which is even more of a reason to make it energy efficient. Since the heat or chill in the garage will penetrate the walls and ceilings of the rooms directly connected to it, it’s important to make sure your garage is as energy efficient as possible. To improve efficiency, insulate your garage’s walls, seal cracks in cement floors, use draft stoppers, implement weather stripping, and take advantage of the many forms of insulation that are available specifically for garage doors.

4) BATHROOMS: We all use them several times a day, and that means all your friends and relatives who are coming to visit during the holiday season are going to use them, too! You can avoid spiked energy and water bills if you gently establish some guidelines. You can even use these guidelines yourself, 365 days a year, to make a BIG difference in your energy budget. Take. Short. Showers. Get in and get out! Use cold, or lukewarm, water when possible, check leaky faucets, and for low-flow toilets, add a tank bank to reduce the use of water with each flush.

5) LAUNDRY ROOM: Everyone loves doing laundry! Not. However, it’s also a necessity of life, so we should be more conscious of how we are utilizing this overly-utilized utility room. For starters, does anyone even air-dry their clothes anymore? Try it! You can find affordable clothing racks just about anywhere household goods are sold. Another way to conserve energy in the laundry room is to wash on the cold cycle whenever possible, and to try and reduce the frequency of loads by wearing certain items of clothing more than once before a wash.