Thanksgiving is just around the corner! At Texas electricity provider, NEC Co-op Energy, we are excited to celebrate the holiday that is all about family, food, feasting, and giving thanks.
While you may be relaxing with family, your home might actually be getting a serious workout this holiday. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Thanksgiving contributes to an annual increase in energy use due to temperature drops, appliances operating on overdrive, and lights being used longer. In fact, energy costs in the kitchen alone can account for 4.5 percent of the total home energy use. So, as you prepare to gobble up at the dinner table, do not forget to save some space for energy efficiency!
Read on for some simple tips on how to conserve energy this Thanksgiving that will help you reduce your energy consumption this holiday.
Get in the habit of turning off lights in unused rooms. In most cases, the lights can be turned off in the garage or in outdoor areas. It’s also good to consider switching to more energy-efficient lighting options like LEDs, which lasts 25 times longer and uses approximately 75 percent less energy compared to incandescent lights.
Avoid purchasing a turkey that is bigger than what you really need. Cooking a smaller turkey saves energy because it takes less time to cook. When slow roasting a turkey, it’s not really necessary for you to preheat the oven. Consider cooking the dressing separately, for it takes longer to cook a turkey that is stuffed with dressing. You can also reduce oven use by adding side dishes that can be cooked at the same temperature as the turkey that is in the oven. Just don’t forget to adjust the cooking time to accommodate various cooking temperatures.
3. Refrigerator usage
During meal preparations, try to gather all the needed ingredients from your refrigerator in a few trips as possible. Your appliance will be forced to work harder and use more energy the more you open and close the doors of your refrigerator.
Be sure that the seals on the freezer and fridge close tightly. Your fridge will work harder to stay cool if it has weak seals or leaks. Allow the food and the containers to cool before placing them inside the fridge. This will ensure that your appliance doesn’t need to use more energy to cool your food down to room temperature.
4. Household temperature
Add weather stripping or caulk to seal air leaks around windows and doors. If you don’t plan on using your fireplace, keep your fireplace damper closed and seal the chimney flue unless a fire is burning. Turn your thermostat down for about 10-15° for 8 hours during the day when no one is home, or overnight to save energy on your cooling and heating bills.
5. Handwashing vs. an Energy Star certified dishwasher
The bellies are full, the dinner is over, and everyone is relaxing. However, in the kitchen, the dishes are everywhere. Now you are wondering: should you wash the dishes by hand or use your dishwasher?
Did you know that handwashing uses more energy than an Energy Star-certified dishwasher? It also uses less water! So, load up and save the handwashing for big pans, pots, and serving dishes.
Our electricity company is always looking for ways to help you manage your energy costs by giving you information on how to use your energy efficiently. For more energy saving tips, feel free to visit our blog.