By August most Floridians are longing for cooler temperatures -we know that will be months away. The late summer temperatures can bring along a higher utility bill, but is it possible to reduce your summer utility bill while staying comfortable?
The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates a typical US family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills. They believe in taking a whole house approach to maximize yearly savings.
“Making an investment will pay off in the long run,” say Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Energy saving home improvements can qualify you for tax breaks and possible incentives from some homeowner’s insurance policies.”
Installing rooftop solar panels, a programmable thermostat, replacing windows purchasing energy efficient appliances, adding insulation or planting trees and bushes on your property are all effective methods for lowering your energy usage.
There are a variety of methods for lowering your utility bills whether you are looking to make a long term investment or want to make more efficient use of how you utilize energy in your home.
Change out light bulbs. The DOE reports if you change out your five most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs you can save $75 a year. Do not let sticker shock deter you, they use much less energy and last far longer.
Install white backed shades and curtains to reflect the sun. Awnings over the outside of south and west facing windows provide shade, greatly reducing the heat from the sun.
Unplug electronics such as computers, video game consoles and television sets when not in use. If that sounds inconvenient, think about using a power strip and turning off the power strip or placing items on a light timer.
There is an old myth is that computers last longer if they do not get turned off. This is simply outdated information that relates to mainframe computers. At least put your computer on automatic sleep mode if you do not want to turn it off.
Check to make sure all your vents are opened-closing vents does not reduce energy consumption.
Replace air filters monthly, you can buy them in bulk at a hardware store.
Use fans, while they do not cool the air, they do circulate it helping you to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.
Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F.
Install a low flow shower head.
Wash clothes in cold water. Heating the water for your washing machine accounts for 90 percent of the energy the washing machine uses, according to energystar.gov.
While thoroughly rinsing your dishes before they go into the dishwasher is good, that uses water. How you load them is more important. Utensils should be loaded in their designated carriage, handles facing down because they need less water than to other end. Plates on the bottom facing the center, cups and bowls on the top row with bowls slanted to reduce trapping water inside of them. Avoid placing large items such as serving platters facing the door of the dishwasher; they can prevent the detergent door from fully opening.
Turn off the heated dryer on your dishwasher and let dishes dry on their own.
Some Florida utility companies offer off-peak discounts between the hours of 7am and 7 pm. Try running the dishwasher and doing laundry in the evening.
GreatFlorida Insurance has offices located throughout Florida to provide dependable and affordable homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance. Our experienced agents will work to present you with options to choose from so you know you are getting the ideal insurance policy for you and your family.
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