10 Ways Energy Efficiency Saves You Money
Did you know energy efficiency not only benefits the environment but can also reduce your A/C costs? Here’s a few easy tweaks Hillsborough County residents can make to their home and habits to lessen their environmental – and financial – impact:
- Set the air-conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Raise it to 80 or 81 degrees when you are away.
- Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day in air-conditioned rooms.
- Run ceiling fans and the air-conditioner at the same time when you're at home. Fans burn far less energy than an air-conditioner. The breeze makes a room feel cooler, enabling you to raise the thermostat setting as much as 4 degrees with no loss of comfort.
- Change air-conditioner filters monthly during summer months. Clogged filters reduce air flow and force the system to work harder, which raises your electricity bill.
- Cook with a microwave, or outdoors. A range/oven heats the kitchen.
- Remove items quickly from your refrigerator, and close the door. A refrigerator cools food but its motor heats the kitchen.
- Clean the lint filter on your clothes dryer after each use, and run the machine's vent to the outdoors, not just to the attic.
- Plant shade trees, which can reduce air-conditioning costs by 30 percent.
- With caulk and weather stripping, seal air leaks around doors and windows. Check for air duct leaks in the attic or beneath the house.
- Install energy-efficient lights - LED or CFL bulbs - that run cooler than incandescent bulbs.
Think you might qualify for help paying for energy? Apply for federally funded Energy Assistance.