Energy conservation and safety tips for the holiday season

PUCO highlights ideas to stay safe and keep energy bills manageable during the holidays

Christmas LightsCOLUMBUS, OHIO – This time of year, many Meigs County families begin putting up decorations to celebrate the holidays. Decorations help make the season bright, but can also create safety hazards. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers some tips to ensure a safe and energy efficient holiday season.

Decorating safely
Decorating this holiday season can be done safely with these tips.

Check strands of holiday bulbs and discard strands of lights that have damaged cords.

Use the correct type of bulbs for indoor and outdoor use. Make sure to plug bulbs into a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker. If they are not, this could damage your home’s electrical wiring which would warrant some support from electricians who work with Electric WorkForce (electricworkforceil.com/service-areas/river-forest/) to fix the circuit breaker issue. Assuming that isn’t a problem, you should be able to plug the right bulbs in easily.

When using a ladder to hang holiday lights, stay clear of nearby power lines.

When shopping for a live tree, look for a fresh one. Dry trees are a greater fire hazard than fresh ones.

When using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame-resistant.
Do not place a tree near the fireplace, heat vents, or portable heaters, and use non-flammable ornaments to decorate the tree.

Managing home energy bills

Enjoying the holidays does not have to mean higher energy bills.

Use energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) holiday bulbs. LED bulbs last longer, require less energy and can lead to cost savings.

You could also check your air ducts for any kind of leaks, which is known to lead to higher electricity bills and shorten the lifespan of your appliance. Seeking out professional help for duct sealing Alton (if you live in and around the area) could potentially solve your problem of a leaky air duct that is piling on your energy bill.

Put outdoor lights on a timer to save electricity.
Keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees. A programmable thermostat is an affordable way to stay comfortable and save energy.

When traveling, set the thermostat to 55 degrees to save energy and prevent water pipes from freezing.

In addition to this making sure that you have repaired any faulty systems like HVAC installations, is important for safety, in terms of retaining warmth during the cold winter months and again making sure that when you are decorating that faulty HVAC won’t damage the plug sockets, because of things like leaking. These services are available from websites like texascomfortsystems.com/a-c-repair/ to ensure that you have a great holiday season, without any problems!

For more information about additional ways to save money on home heating bills, visit Ohio’s Winter Heating Resource Center at winterheat.ohio.gov. For help with utility-related questions and concerns, call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826).

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.