Take Control of Your Energy Use & Save Money
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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I’ve been hearing much complaints from residents of Central Florida about their high utility bills during this hot summer season. This afternoon, I got another call from a friend who was quite frustrated with her electricity bills from Duke Energy. Allow me to share some tips that will help to reduce your cost of utility bills (much of these tips have been suggested by Duke Energy):
- As much as 80% of the energy used by dishwasher is for heating water. So, try turning off the “pre-rinse” option and instead rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. Also, run the dishwater when it’s full and during off-peak times.
- Refrain from taking showers during on-peak times if possible. Install a low-flow shower head. These shower heads typically use 15 gallons of water during a 10 minute shower compared to a bath that can use up to 25 gallons of water.
- A dirty filter makes your cooling system work harder and uses more energy during summer (not to mention trouble for your heating element). So, replace your filter every few months or opt for a washable one. Keep in mind that changing your filters can also cut down on dust around your home.
- During peak cooling hours, solar heat gain can account for 1/3 of the load on your air conditioner. So, close the drapes on the sunny side of your home when you are there or close all window coverings if you are leaving for the day.
- Turn your air conditioners to the highest comfortable setting (around 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit) when you’re home and 80 degrees when you are away. Adjusting your thermostat up a few degrees will have a significant impact on your cooling bill. A change from 73 degrees to 76 degrees for 24 hours a day could save you approximately 30% on your summer cooling cost.
- A new, high efficiency, 13 SEER air conditioner uses about half the energy of a 15 year old air conditioner. Maintain your air conditioner well and keep it if your air conditioner is 10 years old or less. If your air conditioner is between 10-15 years old, with minor repairs and service, then it may still be acceptable. It is to your benefit to consider replacing your current air conditioner with a new and higher efficiency system if it is older than 10 years old and needing substantial repairs.
- Keep coils on the exterior air conditioning unit free of dirt, grass clippings, and leaves. Have your air conditioning system checked annually by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to make sure it is working at peak efficiency.
- Humidity leads to significant load on an air conditioner. While it is tempting to give your air conditioner a rest on cooler nights, watch out for weather forecast before opening your windows at night.If the next day will be hot again, keep the air conditioning on and your home/house closed through the night to keep the humidity out of the home/house.
- Avoid cooking in the oven during on-peak times and use microwave or on top of the range instead to save energy and money. Microwave ovens use about 70% less energy than a conventional oven.
- You can lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit when baking with glass or ceramic dishes.
- The “on” fan setting on your central air conditioner can circulate air continuously through your home. This would help to even out the hot spots in your home. If this would help to allow you to set your thermostat at a higher summer temperature, it can easily also save you money.
- Some newer TV’s are automatically set for “store”mode, with brighter and high-energy mode set by manufacturers prior to shipping. Try the “home” setting for a better picture, longer TV life, and energy savings of up to 30%.
- Devices such as cell phone chargers, gaming system, and power strips are “energy vampires”. Unplug them when you’re not using them. When you’re not using your computer or printer, turning them off would also conserve energy for you.
- Let Duke Energy Progress haul away your old spare refrigerator or freezer for FREE (and you will receive a $50 check from Duke Energy Progress).
- Duke Energy Progress’ Home Energy Improvement Program offers you ways to save money, become more energy efficient, and increase the comfort of your home. Incentives include up to $800 on a new heat pump , up to $150 on air duct test & repair, up to $400 for energy efficient windows, and up to $200 for attic insulation upgrade (these are rebate amounts for that of state of FL. Other states may have a different rebate amount.
~Let’s Help One Another~
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