If you’ve ever visited or lived in South Florida during the summer months, you know there are days when it can be very hot and humid! Whether it’s due to global warming or just coincidental, it’s always a good idea to take energy conservation seriously.
Taking steps now to conserve home energy costs can save you money over time. These steps range from the free or low-cost to the more expensive which are worthwhile but will take longer to see a return on investment (ROI). Examples of both include keeping your blinds closed (except during showings if your home is for sale!), installing a programmable thermostat, regularly replacing your A/C filter, vacuuming any build-up of dust on refrigerator and freezer coils, lowering your hot water heaters’ temperature setting, installing window tinting, or replacing your air-conditioning system with a new, more efficient one. Whole house air-conditioning units typically need replacement every 10-12 years in South Florida.
To find out if your energy use is above average, take 5 minutes to complete this home energy analysis. To perform this worthwhile test you’ll need to know your home’s age, square footage, number of occupants, and energy bill totals for a consecutive 12-month period (1 year).
Here’s a breakdown of what the typical energy bill pays for:
- 45% – Heating and Cooling
- 15% – Other*
- 11% – Water Heater
- 10% – Clothes Washer & Dryer
- 7% – Lighting
- 6% – Refrigerator
- 2% – Dishwasher
- 2% – TV / VCR / DVD
- 2% – Computer and Monitor
* “Other” represents an array of household products including stoves, ovens, microwaves, and other small appliances. Individually, these products account for no more than about 2% of a household’s energy bills. Source: EnergyStar.gov
Also, many utility companies offer homeowners a free energy audit that includes a report on things you can do to lower your energy bills. Wondering what to do to reduce your home’s energy consumption? Here are some resources to assist you:
- Home Energy Checklist for Action
- Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy and Money
- “Ask an Energy Expert” free service, US Dept. of Energy
- Home Energy Saver: The First Web-Based Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit Tool
- Swimming Pool Heating