10/31/17 : Todd Yost

This Halloween, Avoid Spooky Holiday Energy Bills

Vampire Energy

Halloween is one of the oldest holidays still celebrated today. Many believe the holiday began with the Celtic tradition of celebrating the end of the year by dressing up as evil spirits. By dressing up as demons themselves they hoped to fool the real demons into ignoring them. Today, most Americans view Halloween as a time for fun, putting on costumes, trick-or-treating, and having theme parties.

Halloween also marks the beginning of the holiday season and with it some big energy uses – think lights, baking and heating. And it’s a good time to think about saving money by being more energy efficient around your home. The typical American family spends at least $2,000 a year on home energy bills. Families can save up to 20-30 percent by making energy efficiency upgrades.

Scare your holiday energy bills down this season to manageable size with these hints:

1. LED Holiday Lights

While the “trick” in “trick or treat” is usually an idle threat, the danger of high energy bills in the holidays is real. Making sure you have energy-efficient lighting and lighting fixtures can keep that threat at bay. This year when you put out those holiday lights, don’t worry about the energy cost. Simply change out your incandescent light bulbs for super energy-efficient LED bulbs.

While they may cost a little more to buy, LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. Holiday LED bulbs can last up to 40 years. And LEDs are safer because they are much cooler than incandescent lights, making them less likely to burn inquisitive fingers. Switch to LED lights and expect ghoulish savings throughout the holidays!

2. Kitchen

In Ireland and Scotland, small items would be hidden in Halloween foods, usually a cake, with portions served at random. A person's future would be foretold by the item they happened to find; for example, a ring meant marriage and a coin meant wealth.

If you aren’t lucky enough to get that coin, there are some great ways to be energy efficient and keep that wealth while still baking that yummy pumpkin pie! Where appropriate, consider using a convection oven when baking, as this uses 20 percent less energy as a full-sized oven. If you have a gas oven with a pilot light, goblins may be in your pocket for that continuous gas use – so consider investing in an oven with an electric ignition system. And don’t be tricked when making a new kitchen appliance purchase! Treat yourself to Energy Star rated products. A new Energy Star-approved refrigerator, for example, uses about 15 percent less energy than non-approved models.

3. Energy Vampires

This year, when your party guests are done watching Count Dracula suck the blood from his victim’s neck, make sure to vanquish the “energy vampires” in your home, such as your TV and stereo. “Energy vampires,” evil ghouls that suck electrical power from your appliances when you aren’t using them, account for 23 percent of home electricity consumption. You can conquer the ghouls by plugging multiple devices into a power strip and turning it off when you’re not using them – and save $165 per year for doing nothing! Take that, evil spirits!

4. Fireplaces

Another Celtic tradition was to gather around bonfires while dressed in costumes; the fire was meant to keep the ghouls, goblins, vampires and witches away.

These days, fireplaces add heat and ambience to any cold weather Halloween party. But if you have a fireplace, make sure you’re using it properly. To ensure that the evil spirits don’t swoop down your chimney this Halloween and steal your holiday savings away, here are a few simple ways to ward them off – and they don’t involve garlic! Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning, and install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room. Also, check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and add caulking around the fireplace hearth.

Armed to the fangs with the information given here, we hope you find our Halloween energy efficiency tips to be a devilishly good way to save money while enjoying this holiday season! Happy Halloween!