How Do You Keep Your Electricity Bill Down This Thanksgiving?
Brace yourself. Winter is coming. Okay, okay. It’s not like we’re going to film an episode of “Ice Road Truckers” on the Houston bayous. But even though this winter is just beginning, your home is going to use more energy than it has in the last few months. Summer and winter are peak electricity usage seasons in Texas. Anything you can do to keep your usage down will help you keep your power bill in check.
So, to help you do that, here are five energy efficiency tips for your Houston Thanksgiving dinner. Depending on your feast, this will be a huge help since your November grocery expenses could go out of whack, too.
1. Lower your thermostat
No matter how large your house may be, a Thanksgiving crowd can make your home feel hot and stuffy. Before you start cooking, lower your thermostat a few degrees. You’ll be hustling and bustling around the house to get everything ready for your guests.
On top of the body heat you and your guests will generate, your oven will be working overtime. As food goes in and comes out, some of that oven heat escapes into the kitchen. You’ll be glad your thermostat is ratcheted down a bit.
2. Operate your oven wisely
Your oven takes center stage while your Houston Thanksgiving dinner is cooking. Save energy by operating it wisely. Open the oven as few times as possible to minimize heat loss. Cook several dishes at once, but be careful to leave enough room for the warm air to circulate around each dish. You don’t want to pack your oven to the gills.
When you cook the turkey and when you roast vegetables, you don’t need to preheat the oven. For other dishes, preheat the oven only as much as necessary. Don’t let a hot oven sit empty.
3. Mind your refrigerator
If you think your oven works hard at Thanksgiving, your refrigerator runs circles around your oven. Only a few of your guests will open the oven, but just about everyone will open the refrigerator at some point. Whether you pull out ingredients, grab a beverage, or put away leftovers, your refrigerator works hard to maintain its 40-something-degree temperature after the door opens. The longer your refrigerator runs to stay cool, the more energy it uses, and the higher your Texas electric bill.
Do your best to minimize the number of times it’s opened. If you can pull out all the ingredients for a particular dish all at one time, do it. You may want to ice down drinks in a cooler, so people won’t open the refrigerator each time they need a refill.
Avoid putting warm dishes in the refrigerator. Allow them to cool first.
Check your refigerator’s door seals today to make sure it closes properly. You could be wasting a lot of electricity by allowing cool air to escape preparing your Houston Thanksgiving dinner.
4. Don’t waste energy during clean-up
Once you’ve turned your beautiful turkey into a pile of gristle and bones, it’s time to clean up. Put a cookie sheet on the very bottom rack to catch splotches and spills. Later on, you can pull out and wash it. Unless you’ve had a massive spill in your oven, skip the self-cleaning cycle and opt for wiping up small splatters.
Wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher. Air dry or towel dry the dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s heated dry setting.
5. Compare electricity plans before your Houston Thanksgiving dinner
Getting the most energy for the lowest rate can be the biggest energy efficiency tip to help to your wallet. Even though electricity prices normally increase during the winter, there’s never a bad time to shop Houston electricity plans. While you’re home for the holidays, take a few minutes away from family and friends to search power plans at http://www.texaselectricityratings.com. You may find a plan that can give your budget a little extra room for Christmas presents.