Money-Saving Tips That Can Make a Big Impact on Your Energy Use
We’re just over the halfway mark for summer here in Florida and it’s incredibly HOT! Luckily we have our air conditioning running to keep us cool and comfortable. But the electric bill goes up in summer especially in the hotter months like July and August. So, how can we save money on our home energy?
Table of contents
- Money-Saving Tips That Can Make a Big Impact on Your Energy Use
The average household in Florida spends about $2,000 a year on energy billsU.S. Energy Information Administration
Household Energy Use in Florida
Before you give up your A/C to save money, there are ways to reduce your monthly electric bill. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when determining where to start. So here is our list of things to do to save money on your home energy.
Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Energy-saver light bulbs and LED lights are a great way to consume less energy. LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) are a type of solid-state lighting that is the most energy efficient and a big wallet saver. Not only can you use 90% less energy with the same amount of light, but it’s also a much longer lasting light bulb. That’s smart lighting!
Money Saving Routine #1:
Start saving money now by adjusting the way you use your energy. Get in the habit of turning the light off when leaving the room if you’re the last person. Involve the entire family to maximize your savings. Minimize the number of lights you have on at once in the home while keeping adequate light for safety. Also, consider using a lower wattage bulb for rooms that are too bright or don’t need to be as bright as they are.
Room and Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans use less energy than an air conditioner and are a simple solution to lowering your electricity bill. Although fans can not replace an air conditioner, they instead complement it. Fans move the air like a natural breeze and this helps cool your skin more than an A/C can alone. Using fans with your air conditioner at a higher temperature setting will keep you just as comfortable while saving you money.
Money Saving Routine #2:
You can help save money on energy by simply being more efficient. When possible leave the doors to your bedrooms wide open to ensure unrestricted airflow. With that in mind, clean out the filter in your A/C to improve it’s flow of air. Also, close the blinds or shades to help keep out the heat especially if the window gets lots of exposure to direct sunlight.
A programmable thermostat can save you up to 10% per year on your energy bills according to the Department of Energy. This type of thermostat allows you to set the temperature to a comfortable level while at home and lowers it automatically when away. If you have an older thermostat, remember to raise the temperature when leaving the house for an extended period of time and then lowering it when you return. Doing this when you go to and from work is great as long as nobody else is in the house.
Money Saving Routine #3:Florida Power & Light
This recommendation seems to be more of a challenge for those who like it really chilly in their homes. But, studies show that if you can keep a steady temperature of 78 degrees or higher on your thermostat it can save you 3% or more on cooling costs.
Summer Energy Usage
Weather Stripping Replacement
Check for noticeable cracks around doors and windows where air can leak in or out and seal them with weather stripping. Your local hardware store can help you choose the right weather stripping for your needs. Take measurements and a photo of the doors and windows to aid in your reference while at the store.
Upgrade Old Appliances
Your refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and water heater provide the comforts of modern living. And with ever advancing technology, newer appliances are more efficient then old ones. You should replace appliances that are 10 years old or more, especially the refrigerator. Also, upgrading to Energy Star rated ones will help save more energy. If you can’t upgrade then simply adjusting how you use your current machines can help reduce energy use. For example, use cold water more often when washing clothes.
Money Saving Routine #4:
Begin saving on home energy today by fine-tuning the way you use your existing appliances. Try lowering your refrigerator and/or freezer temperature setting sightly without compromising food cooling requirements. Only run your dishwasher when it has a full load and let your dishes and utensils air dry instead of heat drying. If you do your dishes by hand try using less running water by filling the sink for rinsing instead.
Adding Insulation or Insulation Repairs
Heating and cooling your home uses the most energy. Replacing your central air and heating system with a more efficient unit is one way to use less energy. Another way is by adding insulation to the attic and crawl space. Doing this is easily one of the most cost-effective, energy-saving improvements you can make. An air conditioning professional can help you choose the right insulation for your home.
Money Saving Opportunity #1:
At the time of this article being published, Florida Power & Light is offering a rebate to help with the cost of insulation. Check with them first before you start your project by visiting their website at www.fpl.com or calling them directly for more information.
Reduce Pool Pump Run Time
Swimming pool pumps are easily one of the top offenders for energy consumption. Florida Power & Light recommends running your pump for shorter periods of time during the summer and winter seasons. You can also reduce your power usage by installing a smaller, more energy-efficient pump to lower your pool’s electricity usage even further. For example, the Energy Star rated pump uses 70% less power than a standard pump reducing your yearly bill by up to $300.
Go Solar Energy
Reduce your carbon footprint by generating your own electricity with solar panels. The installation can be costly but will pay for itself over time. There are even tax credits to encourage homeowners to invest in solar panels. Before you start, look into the details to see if solar panels are worth your investment. SolarReviews has a free calculator that uses your zip code and utility company to provide an accurate solar savings analysis. Check it out here: Solar Panel Cost and Savings Calculator.
Money Saving Opportunity #2:
Once you have decided that going solar is right for your home. There may be solar tax credits and incentives available to you at the federal, state, and local levels. Here is another free tool by SolarReviews at www.solarreviews.com that shows you the value of incentives your home is eligible for.
Interactive Tour for Your Home
Each home is quite unique when it comes to saving money on home energy consumption. There are so many variables that can have an effect on energy efficiency. Due to this, My Florida Home Energy offers a free interactive tour of your home. This tour focuses on energy efficiency and allows you to enter details specific to your own home. It will then show a room-by-room summary of your energy efficient living and provides advice using energy saving technology and conservation good habits. There’s also additional helpful resources and support to assist you further in saving money on your home energy bill. Visit: My Florida Home Energy to start your home tour.
Florida Power & Light Energy Manager
If you have FPL for your electricity then you can take advantage of their free Energy Manager. This great tool allows you to take control of your energy bill. It displays a convenient Energy Dashboard which monitors your energy usage over time. There’s even an Energy Analyzer that shows you where your home uses the most energy. Oh, and don’t forget the Energy Survey with Energy Simulator to see how small changes can help you save money over time. Visit: Your Summer of Savings Start Now at FPL.
We hope these money saving tips help you reduce your home energy and monthly electric bill. The last thing you want to do is go without air conditioning in Florida halfway through summer. Don’t worry though, with energy efficient recommendations like these, you can continue to enjoy your cool A/C air.
- US Energy Information Administration Household Energy Use in Florida PDF (www.eia.gov)
- US Department of Energy Programmable Thermostats (www.energy.gov)
Lighting Choices to Save You Money (www.energy.gov/energysaver/)
Energy Star® Definition (www.energy.gov/energy-starr/)
- Energy Star Pool Pump Savings PDF (www.energystar.gov)
- Florida Power & Light Summer Energy Usage (www.fpl.com/blog/)
Energy Manager (www.fpl.com/energy-manager/)
Top Energy Saving Tips (www.fpl.com/save/lower-bill/)