Energy efficiency during the holidays

Quik-Therm is passionate about improving the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live and work. It is one of the reasons why we work very hard at developing and selling our line of superior insulation products, like Quik-Therm CIS for basements. During the holiday season, with its lights, baking, and entertaining, families use a lot of energy. In the spirit of promoting energy efficiency, we have done some reading and offer below a few tips on how your family can lower its energy consumption during the holidays.

Use LED Christmas lights. While this is becoming the norm, for you die-hard traditionalists out there, did you know that LED Christmas lights use 80% less energy than non-LED Christmas lights?

Turn off your Christmas lights or use a programmable timer. We put up lights because we want people to look at them, so when nobody is around, why have them on? Turn off those Christmas lights and displays when you go to bed. You’ll save energy and likely make your neighbour across the street happy too.

Bake more than one dish at a time and keep the oven door closed. Your oven heats up the same amount of space and uses the same amount of energy full or empty, so fill it up. When you open the oven door to take a peek at those cookies, the oven temperature can drop 25 degrees. (This also happens after pre-heating). Try and use the oven light instead.

Buy ENERGY STAR qualified electronic gifts. Natural Resources Canada states that, “an ENERGY STAR qualified product is in the top 15 to 30 percent of its class for energy performance. Saving energy saves you money and reduces your impact on the environment.”

Close your curtains. Curtains help keep the heat in, so keep them closed throughout the house at night.

Keep your garage door closed. With all the comings and goings during the holiday season, this can be easy to forget to do. But the more cold air you let in, the more energy it will take to reheat your garage. While some of this heat will come from the ground below the concrete slab, the rest is coming from inside your home. (Based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, warm air heats cold air). Upgrading the insulation in your garage is an easy do-it-yourself project.

Run appliances, such as your dishwasher and washing machine, during off-peak hours. While this won’t lower your energy use, if you live in an area with time-of-day electricity rates it will save you money. Even if you don’t live in this type of area, it is still good practice as it helps lower peaks in electricity demand. Electricity providers typically have to fulfill these peak demands by running their most expensive or inefficient generating stations.

Use Technology to keep your heating and cooling costs down. There are many ways you can save money on heating and cooling costs and still stay comfortable. High tech devices made by some of the world’s largest companies are available that can integrate with your existing system, and won’t cost you the world! Products such as smart thermostats and the famous ‘Mistbox’ can do wonders to keep your cooling costs down in summer.

Give a gift that keeps on giving, the gift of energy savings. One unique gift is that you could pay for someone to have their home audited by a Certified Energy Advisor (CEA). An energy audit can tell a homeowner how much energy they are using and what can be done to lower this energy use. Also, most provinces have programs that offer rebates for energy-efficient home renovations.  Typically, these programs require an energy audit to be done before and after a renovation.

All of us at Quik-Therm wish you and your family a warm and safe holiday season.