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How To Conserve Energy & Save Money This Christmas

How To Conserve Energy & Save Money This Christmas

We would all be lying if we didn’t admit that we are somewhat apprehensive about Christmas this year. With rising energy prices, fuel charges, and the cost of living growing to an incomprehensible level, it has left many of us worried about being able to afford basic necessities. Not only this, but the increased expenses that come with the festive season have presented us with even more challenges. As winter approaches, bringing with it colder days, longer nights, and predictably a great deal of entertaining, it can be incredibly hard to keep gas and electric bills low. 

To help householders, Lifestyle Furniture has put together some helpful tips to save on energy costs this upcoming season.

     green Christmas tree

Christmas Lights - Switch To LEDs

Christmas trees are something that no one should be without come December. Whether that’s a real tree or an artificial Christmas tree, both have the potential to create excitement and bring joy to homes across the world. Still, without the appropriate Christmas decorations such as baubles, sprays, tinsel, and lights, it’s not much of a Christmas tree, is it? Christmas tree lights almost always remain switched on all day every day to keep the Xmas spirit alive, so how can we continue to do this but save money too? Well, there are two ways to do this. Firstly, consider switching to LED lights. LED string lights use up to 90% less energy than fluorescent incandescent alternatives. Battery-powered lights are also worth considering and will save you money in the long run.   

Fact: Think about switching all the light bulbs in your house to LEDs. This simple change will save you from having to replace your light bulbs as often and will keep costs low.

     people walking on stairs with lighted string lights

Christmas Decorations - Use Timers

You know how it is, you’ve spent time intricately placing your Christmas baubles on various tree branches only to realize that you have ignored the rest of the house. Quickly decorating the rest of the home, you dig out your best light-up statues, but unfortunately plugging them in can mean adding to your electricity bill once again. Try using automatic timers to cut down on the amount of time your indoor and outdoor displays stay on. This will allow you to personalize and decrease timings and can be added to any plug-in.

Simply Switch Appliances Off

We are all guilty of leaving a room and not switching the lights off. This isn’t just a Christmas problem, this is likely a “24/7 problem”, but it isn’t just ceiling lights we have trouble turning off, in fact, most people aren’t even aware of this next energy-draining problem. Most appliances and sometimes Christmas electronics have a standby mode and usually, we find this to be very beneficial. Standby mode or sleep mode helps to conserve power when a computer, TV, or electronic device is not in use, without fully powering it off. It can mean you are able to quickly turn these on, but also means you are adding to your electric bill to have this convenience. Therefore, we suggest fully turning off everything you can when not in use, especially if appliances are old or lower-graded.

      green Christmas tree with decorations and gift boxes on floor

While switching off appliances will help to reduce a lot of your energy costs, you should also be aware of electrical devices that still use energy even when turned off. These vampire devices (or ghost devices) can add up to 20% to your monthly electric bill. Chargers are some of the worst offenders and when plugged into a socket will use electricity for as long as it remains plugged in, even if in standby mode. We suggest implementing a best practice policy in the house and unplugging as many cables as you can when not in use. Remember it takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic, so keep at it.

Fact: If replacing your appliances, consider upgrading to A-rated alternatives. This could end up saving you hundreds on your next energy bill and up to 20% on energy use.

Traditional living room with gold decorations | Christmas living rooms,  Christmas decorations living room, Christmas home

Consider Christmas Decorations With Solar Panels

Fortunately, a lot of outdoor ornaments are now available with solar panels. A dark panel known as a solar cell will convert the sun’s rays into an electrical current and light up your Santa and snowman characters with ease. Solar light statues won’t cost you a penny more than what you pay for them and because there is nothing to plug in, they are extremely flexible. You can place them as far away from the nearest electrical outlet as you like and watch them light up your lawn and impress your neighbors.

 brown cardboard brown beside brown Christmas tree inside room during daytime

Invest In Christmas Blankets

Ok, they don’t have to be Christmas-themed blankets, particularly if you plan on using them all year round - which is looking very likely we’ll admit but spending €20 on a cosy throw and perhaps a matching hot water bottle could mean you are warm enough to keep the heating off altogether or are able to turn the thermostat down by a degree or two.  

Christmas Gifts - Don't Leave Them On Charge

We get it, you’ve just received your best Christmas gift to date, it’s an electronic device or a games console of some sort and you want to play it straight away. Unlucky for you, it needs to be fully charged first which can take some time. Charging it cannot be avoided, but with fast charging cables, you can fully charge some devices in just 30 minutes, so don’t walk off and leave it plugged in and charging for longer than it needs to be. 

 blue and white hat on brown woven round table

Christmas Dinner - Ovens

Don’t be tempted to peek into the oven when cooking your festive roast. Opening the door will allow the heat to escape and will cost more and take several minutes to get the oven back to its original temperature. Try to limit checking to just once or twice throughout its cooking duration. We suggest checking on your roast mid-way through cooking and when you believe it is finished and ready to eat. This might not seem like an important cost-saving measure but leaving the oven door open for just 30 seconds means your oven temperature can drop 150° or more.

Christmas Tree & Decoration Positioning

This might be obvious to some but it’s important to not place your Christmas tree or any other decorations next to radiators. They will absorb a lot of heat and prevent radiators from warming up the rest of the house. Not only this, but it is a safety hazard and could cause a fire. Again, it might seem fairly obvious but keeping these items away from an open fire will also save you money and avoid any accidental fires.

        a lit christmas tree in the corner of a room

Longer Term Solutions

  • Attach solar panels to the roof of your house. Although it can seem costly to start with, it can reduce or eliminate your energy bills.
  • Have wind turbines installed. Domestic turbines are small and should be placed in an area of your garden that gets a lot of wind. It won’t provide you with all the electricity you need but can certainly help to lower your electricity bills.
  • Smart energy controls. This allows total control of your home heating and hot water from a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Users can control their energy whether they’re at work or on the go and this can save up to €120 per year on their energy bills. Don’t forget about smart bulbs too!
  • Keep curtains closed at night, even in empty rooms to avoid heat loss through windows.
  • Try to use appliances outside the energy rush hours of 5pm to 7pm.
  • Run dishwashers and washing machines/dryers at night.
  • Get boilers serviced and cleaned regularly.

   green christmas tree with red and white baubles

Some of these longer-term solutions require a great deal of money upfront. If this is not something you can afford to do currently, it might be worth thinking about saving for it now so you can afford it in the future. Alternatively, there are many other cost-saving measures mentioned that just mean adapting your habits slightly. Whatever the decision you make, it can mean that Christmas isn’t compromised for 2022.

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