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Life hacks for the holidays

Life Hack photo

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday, as family and friends reunite to feast and give thanks. The one drawback, however, is that the holiday contributes to an annual increase in energy use, due to a usual drop in temperatures, lights staying on longer, and appliances operating more frequently.

Here are some energy-saving tips which can help lower the unwelcome tradition of higher energy bills following a Thanksgiving celebration:

TURKEY TIPS

  • How much turkey can you and your guests really eat? Be sure to get the right size bird. A smaller turkey takes less time to cook and saves energy.
  • It takes longer to cook the turkey when it is stuffed with dressing, so cooking the dressing separately can actually reduce oven usage.
  • Adding side dishes that can be cooked at the same temperature while the turkey is cooking can also reduce oven use. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time to accommodate different temperatures.
  • Resist the urge to check on your food as it cooks. Each time you open the oven door, you’ll reduce the temperature inside by 25 degrees.

HOSTING

  • Turn down the thermostat, whether it’s manual or programmable. With all the heat from your kitchen and a house full of people, your home will stay plenty warm.
  • If you are hosting a large gathering, use a cooler stocked with ice to hold drinks. You’ll free space in your refrigerator and prevent cold air from escaping from frequent door openings.

AFTER THE FEAST

  • Don’t wash dishes by hand because an Energy Star-certified dishwasher uses less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and uses less water.
  • Let the leftovers cool before placing them in the fridge, because your refrigerator has to work harder to cool them.

LIGHTING OPTIONS

  • Get in the habit of turning off every light except in occupied rooms. In most cases, lighting can be turned off in outdoor areas or the garage. Make the switch to more energy-efficient lighting options, such LEDs, which use at least 75 percent less energy, and last 25 times longer on average, compared to incandescent lighting. Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday, as family and friends reunite to feast and give thanks. The one drawback, however, is that the holiday contributes to an annual increase in energy use, due to a usual drop in temperatures, lights staying on longer, and appliances operating more frequently.
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