Feature Articles - Housing
Energy efficiency over the holidays
Barbara Buffaloe, former Housing & Environmental Design Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
The holiday season is a time of celebration and most homes are decorated to the nines. However the holiday season is also a time of higher energy bills because of our home heating needs and the electricity for holiday decorations. Certain behaviors can be adopted by homeowners to decorate their homes for the holidays, but not waste electricity doing so. There are products available for the homeowner that allow beautiful holiday displays, yet do not require a lot of electricity to run.
The most popular decoration during the holiday season is lights. Holiday lights can be found on millions of holiday trees and decorating the inside and outside of our homes. There are some ways to cut down on that energy usage.
- Change out your inefficient incandescent holiday lights
for light-emitting diode (LED) holiday lights. LED lights are
80 percent more efficient than incandescents making them the
least expensive to operate over the holiday season. LED bulbs
have a higher initial cost than incandescents, but they last
20 years. The bulbs are safe to use around children because
they do not shatter, are cool to the touch and do not produce
heat so there’s no danger of fire. Note – make sure all lights
you purchase contain the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label,
which means they have met UL’s safety requirements.
- Turn off Christmas lights during the day, when you are away or when you are sleeping. Using a timer is the easiest way to
accomplish these tasks.
- Take the lights down after the holidays! And avoid becoming “those neighbors.”
Office of Energy Efficiency, Canada
Alliance to Save Energy
Last update: Tuesday, December 20, 2011