Save energy by adjusting the thermostat

10 Ways Energy Efficiency Saves You Money

Offset expensive A/C costs with these tips

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:

  1. Set the air-conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Raise it to 80 or 81 degrees when you are away.
  2. Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day in air-conditioned rooms.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cook with a microwave, or outdoors. A range/oven heats the kitchen.
  6. Remove items quickly from your refrigerator, and close the door. A refrigerator cools food but its motor heats the kitchen.
  7. 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.
  8. Plant shade trees, which can reduce air-conditioning costs by 30 percent.
  9. With caulk and weather stripping, seal air leaks around doors and windows. Check for air duct leaks in the attic or beneath the house.
  10. 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.