Right now, most of us will do anything to cut down on our monthly spending, and saving anywhere makes a huge difference for most every household. Here are some valuable, energy-saving ideas:
1.Give your air conditioner a checkup – or a replacement! One of the most important factors in reducing energy costs and keeping cool is maximizing the efficiency of your cooling systems. Clearing a clogged A/C unit filter alone can save 5 to 15 percent in energy use, and will help keep the unit in proper working order for longer – saving you money on expensive replacements down the road.
2.During summer, cool your home to 78 degrees or higher with the thermostat fan switched to auto. For additional savings, raise your thermostat to 82 degrees or higher when you’re away.
3.Clean or replace your A/C filter regularly to help your unit run more efficiently and trim cooling costs.
4.Adjust your thermostat. In the summer, especially on particularly hot days, “adjusting the thermostat” evokes the feeling of furiously pressing the down arrow on the control panel. Unfortunately, this is also the most efficient way to maximize your energy bill. During the summer months, try to keep your thermostat at a temperature just cool enough to keep you comfortable, and then bump it up a degree. One study found that each degree a thermostat is set above 75⁰F could save 10-15 percent in energy used!
5.Limit the time you run your pool pump; Summer – six hours a day / Winter – four hours a day.
6.Turn off the lights. In addition to turning lights off when you are not using rooms, consider using natural light alone during the day and candles during the evening.
7.During winter, heat your home at 68 degrees or lower with the thermostat fan switched to auto. To save even more, lower your thermostat to 65 degrees or lower at night or when you’re away from home.
8.Reduce your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, is the recommended temperature setting to save about $2 a month.
9.Turn off your ceiling fan when you leave the room. A fan that runs all the time costs up to $7 a month.
10.Replace old, high-flow showerheads with water-efficient showerheads and save up to $80 a year.
11.Reduce oven use. During the hot summer months, try to cook with something smaller than the oven. Grilling out, using a toaster oven, electric skillet, slow cooker or microwave, are all great options as you use less energy.
12.Use electricity during off-peak hours. The time of day you use electricity is also very important when it comes to saving money on your energy bills. Energy companies charge more during “peak” hours – hours of the day when demand is the highest. By scheduling your energy use to “off peak” hours – early morning or late at night – you can help reduce load on the grid and lower your monthly energy bill. On particularly hot days (over 90 degrees Fahrenheit), it is recommended you wait until after 6:00 p.m. to cook, do laundry, or wash dishes.3
13.Check your refrigerator and freezer temperature. According to FPL, the ideal refrigerator temperature runs between 37 and 40 degrees, and the ideal freezer reading is 5 degrees. Any colder, and you are wasting money. It’s also important to keep your refrigerator and freezer full so they do not have to work as hard to stay cold.
14.Plant trees. Planting trees near your house will create shade, which will eventually cool off your home as the trees grow and save you some money. According to the U.S. Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research, shade from two 25-foot tall trees – one on the west side and one on the east – will save a typical house $57 a year in energy costs.
Bonus: Ask about discounts you can receive— There are a number of year-round discounts available to help you save money on your energy bill. Discounts for low-income households, persons on disability, or another form of limited income may qualify you for discounts. Call your energy provider to see what is available in your area.
You can trust Air Masters of Tampa Bay to help you further reduce your energy costs! Our high-efficiency A/C units will save you thousands of dollars and our affordable maintenance plans will extend the life of your existing unit, conserve energy and save you big money and headaches during the hottest summer months!