Energy bills can easily hike up and surprise us, especially
in Florida. Keeping the inside of your home comfortable will reduce the
over-use of your appliances and systems and keep them in good shape. Plus, you’ll
be doing the environment good! Your Property Masters has come up with a list, inspired
by the Federal Energy Management Program, to help you conserve energy in your
home. Some activities are daily, some are weekly/monthly, some annually. Follow this guide to live the most energy efficient life you can!
Firstly, and the easiest thing you can do, is to
make sure to replace the air filter in your HVAC system every 3 months (even
more often if you have pets!). Your HVAC fan motor works twice as hard with an
old/dirty filter, which zaps its energy, raises your bill, and shortens the
life span of your system.
Another thing you can do is to turn the
temperature down on your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees). This
will save energy, plus, do you really need scalding hot water in Florida (in
the Summer especially)? It’s important to maintain your water heater as it’s
expensive to replace and operate. You’ll also want to drain and flush it
annually to avoid sediment accumulation in the tank. - Something else you can do is check if your water
heater has an insulating blanket. This will pay for itself in one year, or less. - Water heating can account for 14-25% of the
energy consumed in your home.
Wherever possible, replace incandescent lights
for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These
can save ¾ of the electricity used by incandescents. - Best targets are 60-100 W bulbs - Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms. Install
timers or sensors if necessary.
Turn off computer and TV monitors while not in
Unplug equipment that drains energy while not in
use: cell phone chargers, fans, coffeemakers, printers, radios, etc.)
Install a programmable thermostat so you can
adjust it according to your schedule. It doesn’t have to be working full force
during the hours that you’re not there. Look for the Energy Star label when
replacing your system! Energy star products can cut your energy bills by up to
During the Winter, open your curtains that face
South to use the sunlight to naturally heat your home. In Florida, the cold
weather is simply free A/C. Close the curtains at night to reduce the chill you
may feel from cold windows.
When you clean out your fridge, remember to wipe
down the coils on a regular basis. These are located on the underside or back
of the fridge. You can also vacuum them for dirt, dust, and other residue at
least one a year to increase your fridge’s lifespan and make it use its energy
more efficiently. For the freezer, if it has more than a small buildup of
frost, it’s time for a clean. Use a baking soda and water solution. Make sure
to keep the lid shut tightly to maintain freezing efficiency.
Check the hoses on your washer and dryer for
leaks or cracks. Inspect the vent pipe from the dryer and clean it for lint and
dust annually, to help it run smoother and prevent fires.
Weekly, rope caulk or add film to leaky windows.
Monthly, look at your utility bills and separate
electricity and fuel bills. Target your largest energy consumer or largest bill
and take necessary measures.
Insulate your hot water pipes to prevent heat
Insulate heating ducts in unheated areas, such
as attics and crawlspaces. This can prevent heat loss of up to 60%.
Annually, you’ll want to check your home
insulation. If your walls aren’t insulated, have an insulation contractor blow
cellulose into the walls.
Replace aging, inefficient appliances. This is a
good investment as repairs will be costly.
Upgrade your computer and monitor. They have
energy-efficient monitors with LCD or LED displays.
Plant shade trees and shrubs around your house
to reduce your A/C cost.
Go Solar! This will be your biggest expense, but
probably the most worth it. It gives you renewable and clean energy, it could
lower your power bill by 50%, and your home’s value will be increased!
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