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Save energy – even with a full house

Even with a house full of company and decorations lighting up the season, you might be able to save energy when compared to Christmases past.

Here are five small changes you can make to keep your energy use under control during the December holidays:

  1. Switch to LED lights for the tree and the outside of the house. Even if your old fluorescent lights are still in pretty good shape, it might be worth it to replace them with strands of LED lights that use less energy, emit less heat and will last for years longer.
  2. Put your outdoor lights on timers. There’s no need to keep the lights on all night. Program timers to turn the lights on once the sun goes down and to turn them off at bedtime.
  3. Don’t just turn the holiday lights off; unplug them. When electric devices are plugged into the wall, they still consume small amounts of electricity, even when you turn them off. Consider investing in power strips and plug several strands into each one. That way, you don’t have to unplug so many devices—you just have to unplug the power strips.
  4. Mix non-electric decorations with those you have to plug in. Hang wreaths and garland. Display battery-operated candles in your windows. If you don’t have to plug it in, it won’t use any energy.
  5. Put your crockpot and microwave to work. Your oven will be full for days as Christmas approaches. Consider slow-cooking some of your meals in a crockpot or speed-cooking side dishes in the microwave. Both use less energy than your regular oven.
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