January 9, 2023
By Anastazia Csegeny
Whether we like it or not, the holidays are an extravagant time. From cooking up incredible feasts to watching movie marathons, we consume a lot of energy throughout the month of December. No matter how much we might strategize and budget ourselves, the energy bills we receive in January can be quite the shock. Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce our energy consumption both at home and at the office to bounce back and get back into an eco-conscious groove. Here are five ways you can kick-off 2023 and save energy for the rest of the winter season.
Use your curtains and blinds
Curtains and blinds are energy-saving tools as much as they are stylish pieces of décor for your home and office. During the colder months, we can strategize when to open and close them, which reduces the need for electric lights and cuts down on heating. In the mornings, open your curtains on the south-facing windows of your home or office building to let natural light illuminate and warm your space. In the evenings, be sure to close them to reduce chilly drafts and keep your heat in while you’re sleeping or while you’re out of the building. You’ll keep your home or office cozy and comfortable while you conserve some valuable energy.
Monitor your fireplace
Fireplaces are a festive way to warm up your space during the winter months, but you should monitor your use to ensure you aren’t wasting any of your heat. To do this, keep an eye on your damper and make sure it’s closed when your fireplace isn’t in use. The damper is a small door inside your fireplace that opens to let smoke, soot, and gas escape out your chimney, and it closes to prevent cold air from entering back in. If your damper is open when you’re not burning a fire, you’ll experience a lot of heat loss and have to constantly turn up the thermostat. If you never use your fireplace, you might even consider completely plugging and sealing off your chimney flue.
Fill up your dishwasher and washing machine
We eat a lot of meals during the holidays, and we might be changing our clothes more frequently to go to parties and other gatherings. As much as we might want to run a half-full dishwasher or half load of laundry to continue keeping things fresh in January, it’s worth it to wait until we can completely fill up our appliances. After all, our dishwasher and washing machine always use the same amount of water and energy regardless of what and how much we’re washing. Of course, it’s easier to wait for a full load of dirty clothes than dirty dishes. If you might be worried about food sticking to your dishes, scrape them off before loading them into the dishwasher.
Turn down the thermostat
As crazy as it sounds, turning down your thermostat during the winter is a great way to reduce your energy consumption and keep your heating costs down. Lowering your thermostat even a few degrees can make a world of difference for your next bill, and if you time it with your home and workflow, you might not even notice it. During the day when you’re awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable, which might just mean bundling up with a sweater or a blanket. At night, turn it back up to as high as you need to sleep comfortably. If you have any pets at home, don’t forget to make the temperature comfortable for them, too.
Put your (LED) lights on a timer
String lights are a staple holiday decoration, and many households keep them up indoors and outdoors long after December. But keeping these lights on all night or all day can be a waste of energy, and you might not even notice until your energy bills comes through the mail. The first step of conserving any energy with your holiday decorations is to ensure you are using efficient and long-lasting light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which most string lights thankfully already use. You can then plug your lights and lit-up decorations into timers and/or smart plugs and program them to only turn on when you’re actively in the space.
Let’s get back to basics!
These five tips are only a few of the ways you can get back into the habit of being eco-conscious this new year both at home and at work. As your trusted lighting partner and one of Southwestern Ontario’s leading providers, Daisy Energy is here to help your business continue building sustainable energy practices for the benefit of your operational goals and the environment. We are dedicated to serving our clients throughout their sustainability journeys, and we encourage you to contact us to discuss your needs.