Energy Efficient Homes: Energy Saving Solutions for Any Budget
No Cost Energy Savings Solutions:
|Home Energy Savers Energy Advisor calculator http://hes.lbl.gov/
|Evaluate your energy use, familiarize yourself with the main energy users in your home, and find simple solutions to energy savings.
|Set thermostat to 78°F or higher in the summer and 68°F or lower in the winter.
|Use ceiling fans to increase comfort level—make sure they’re properly installed, well-balanced, and running clockwise in the winter and counter-clockwise in the summer. Turn off fans when you leave a room.
|Turn off lights when you leave a room, or when you know the room will be vacant for more than 15 minutes.
|Use the air-dry setting or let dishes air-dry by propping the door open slightly after the final rinse cycle. Run full loads only.
|Check seals on refrigerator and freezer doors. Clean refrigerator cooling coils, accessible on the back or underneath the refrigerator.
|Wash only full loads of laundry and use the cold water wash and rinse cycle. When possible, use clotheslines or drying racks instead of your dryer.
|Unplug any appliances or electronics that have a standby mode or that have lights that remain on when they are not in use.
Low Cost Energy Savings Solutions:
|Replace as many of your light bulbs as possible with the appropriate fluorescents.
|Air Conditioning Maintenance
|Check air filters every month and clean or replace regularly as needed. Arrange for professional maintenance on a yearly/seasonal basis to ensure proper efficiency.
|Install a programmable thermostat. Program it to turn off or adjust for overnight and when you are not at home.
|Caulk, seal, or apply weather stripping around all windows and exterior doors. Areas where plumbing, ductwork, and electrical wiring penetrate exterior walls, floors, or ceilings should also be insulated according to applicable building code.
Upgrades and Investments for Energy Saving:
|Upgrade your Florida home’s attic insulation from fiberglass to spray foam. Because air leakage is virtually eliminated, the 40 percent of air conditioning and heating costs attributable to air leakage can also be eliminated.
|Consider replacing older, single pane, or jalousie windows with energy-efficient ones designed specifically for the Southern climate and your regions weather patterns. Upgrading from single pane windows could save you $75-$375 annually.
|If the existing HVAC system is 10 or more years old, consider replacing with an energy efficient system. Upgrading can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115.
|Duct Leak Repair
|Hire a contractor to evaluate ductwork and seal leaks that occur between ductwork junctions, around air handler cabinets, and other trouble spots.
|If the unit is 10 or more years old, consider replacing with an energy-efficient water heater/hot water system. You could save $15–$30 on your water heating bill.
|If the unit is 10 or more years old, consider replacing with an energy-efficient refrigerator. Replacing it with a new one could reduce your energy bill by five dollars or more every month: 60 dollars a year.
|Consider replacing an older clothes washer with an energy-efficient model. If you’re replacing a washer that’s over 10 years old, you can save over $135 per year.
We have just given you an overview of steps that you can take to reduce your home’s energy demand, improve its efficiency, and reduce your energy bill. Remember, when considering energy efficiency in your home, always consider occupant energy use behavior in the home first, before adding any upgrades—even the most efficient home and all of its features can be used wastefully. In addition, larger upgrades such as a new air conditioning unit will be most cost-effective and better matched to your needs after you’ve taken steps to reduce your home’s energy demand, including its cooling load, as much as possible.
Whatever your situation, now that you have the information, take the helm and make it happen!