Easy Ways to Save Time and Money this Holiday Season

By Staff Reporter, Parent Herald December 04, 11:56 am
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With the holiday season upon us, a great deal of stress is put on the common home as the chaos of Christmas get-togethers can put added strain not only on you as a host, but also on your energy bills. Energy consumption spikes by 30-50% during the holidays, but the good news is that you can curb the increase in costs and strain by following a few tips this holiday season.

1. Lighting Options

It's easy to save money on your electricity bill by turning off the lights of rooms that aren't in use. Also, make this the year you switch to LEDs, which consume up to 75% less energy and on top of that last 25 times longer than the average incandescent bulb.

2. Limit your Dishwasher Use

The first and most important question with regards to the dishwasher is whether or not you even need to use it. Yes, you'll want to stuff the dishwasher like a turkey if you've hosted a dozen family members, but if you live alone, or have a small family, sometimes it pays to do the dishes by hand. If you absolutely need to use your dishwasher, be sure to enable the energy-saving cycle.

You also don't need to use the air-dry function if it uses additional heat because this of course costs you additional money. Try the air-dry no-heat feature, or simply open the door to air dry your dishes after the last rinse cycle. Of course, it's also important to reduce the number of times you use it overall, so make sure the dishwasher is full every time you turn it on.

3. Rely on Professionals to Save Time and Money

Plenty of people like to complain about having to wait for an appointment with a service professional, but they often conveniently forget just how much headache and time is involved with trying to fix something yourself. Between finding the spare time in your week to give your HVAC system a thorough once-over, identifying the issue, finding a solution, driving through traffic to the hardware store, and then trying to figure out how best to actually install whatever you need installed, addressing a problem with your HVAC system yourself is an enormous investment of your valuable time.

Why waste your limited holiday time trying to fix a broken furnace? If you want to get your heat fixed fast so you can get on with the festivities, trust a pro and remember that any costs will pay off in the long run.

4. DIY Projects Can End Up Costing More Down the Road

It's a story as old as homeownership: something breaks down. The fix seems simple enough, so a part is found and installed. At first, things are going fine. Then, unexpectedly, everything breaks down again.

This time, the fix isn't so easy. Between time, parts, and labour, you've already spent more than a professional would have cost, and you'll have to get your wallet ready to spend even more. Instead, focus on your own life and let the professionals deal with issues.

Keep in mind that performing service yourself can also void a warranty. If your unit is under warranty, take advantage of it and call in a pro. There's no good reason not to.

5. Upgrade Your Appliances

While it's understandable that upgrading your appliances isn't an 'easy' way to save money, it's worth noting that upgrading old, energy deficient appliances to new ones can really help put more money into your pocket. Traditional water heaters are known for wasting energy, especially in larger homes and homes with many residents using the shower (aka teenagers!).

While there is an initial cost, the move to upgrade to tankless water heater can add up to big savings over time. While your energy consumption is decreasing, you also get the extra benefit of never running out of hot water, and thanks something the whole family can be happy about.

Maximize your family time this holiday season without breaking the bank. Follow these steps to reduce stress on you and your wallet and reduce your household's carbon footprint. Come the new year, you'll be glad you did.

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