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Holidays

  • When cooking items such as Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham there's really no need to preheat your oven. Since the cooking time is typically quite extensive the 15 minutes of pre-heat will not make that much of a difference. Try deferring from peaking at the food while it cooks with the exception for the needed basting. Bake what you can while the oven is in operation. Items such as dinner rolls can be baked while the turkey is cooking and you can baste your turkey when removing the dinner rolls. Also take into consideration turning down your main heat supply while you have the oven running. The added heat from baking while suffice to compensate your desired room temperature.

  • Your refrigerator is one of the main culprits for energy consumption, especially an older refrigerator that doesn't conform to today's ENERGY STAR ratings, so use this appliance wisely. Obviously it is always recommended to open the door only when necessary but, in case you weren't aware, if you're going to be making several trips in and out of the refrigerator it is more energy conscience to leave the door open. Having your refrigerator full during the holiday season usually isn't a task at all but keep in mind while storing leftovers that you need to allow for air to circulate around the items for best performance.

  • The holiday spirit is shown quite often through decorations which are quite elaborate for some households. You can minimize the cost of added Christmas lights by strategically placing lights around your home. Step back and take a look at your decorations before adding more. Sometimes less really does equal more in terms of visually appealing. Automatic timers are fairly inexpensive which can easily be used to recoup their cost by setting them to turn your holiday lights off at a pre-determined time throughout the holidays. Larger light bulbs, such as those found on many homes for outside decorations, run between 7 to 10 watts. You can receive an immediate reduction in power consumption by switching those to a more conservative 5 watt bulb without losing the brilliance of the light itself. This accounts for nearly 30% in cost reduction. Also found in today's market are LED lights for Christmas decorating. These lights are very long lasting and can conserve up to 90% of your holiday decorating costs!

  • Always be sure that your holiday lights have been approved to meet safety requirement. Check for the Underwriters Laboratories seal or stamp to assure your own safety. Always check your holiday lighting for damaged wires. Don't take a chance when you notice worn cords, broken or cracked bulb sockets, or exposed wires. Don't overload your electrical circuits by adding too many lights into a single outlet. Be sure, especially for outdoor lighting, to have a ground fault circuit interrupter which will stop the flow of electrical current in the event a surge of power is detected. Keep all electrical cords away from known area where water drains or areas that could become the path of travel for humans and pets.