Tis the Season to Save Money
We’ve talked about Florida cold in the past and how northerners may scoff at the thought of us having cold weather. But no matter what the season, Floridians use their air conditioners (and occasionally their heaters) all year long. So just because cooler weather comes around and we may not use our air conditioners as much, it doesn’t mean we’re not still consuming energy to stay comfortable.
With that in mind, here are some Florida Fall Energy Saving Tips:
Schedule AC Maintenance
Air conditioner maintenance should be done twice a year. After running your air conditioner all summer long, it’s highly recommended you do a Fall AC maintenance. Simple things like replacing air filters and having your AC system cleaned make a huge difference when it comes to saving energy. Hire a professional to do maintenance on your air conditioning system to ensure it runs efficiently and doesn’t consume unnecessary energy. Air conditioning maintenance can be done relatively cheap, so don’t ignore scheduling a Fall AC maintenance.
Get your Ducts Inspected
When scheduling AC maintenance, ask for a ductwork inspection. Worn out or broken ductwork can cause loss of airflow, which makes your air conditioning and heating system have to work harder. Ask an AC professional to check the airflow from your ducts, and have them sealed and insulated if there are any issues. If your ductwork is leaking air, your wallet is leaking money! So if it gets cold enough to merit turning on the heater, it will be harder to heat your home with leaky ducts, as less airflow means more time for your home to heat up properly. Don’t waste energy forcing your heating system to run longer than it needs to and get your ducts inspected and sealed.
Clear your Condenser
This season is called “Fall” for a reason! That’s because this time of year stuff start falling off of trees. So if you have an outdoor condenser unit, make sure it’s clear of falling debris. Anything that falls off a tree into your condenser can do some damage to your AC system. So now that the weather is not so hot, take advantage of cooler weather and do some landscaping around your outdoor condenser. Make sure to clear any obstructions such as bushes and weeds, as these could do harm to your outdoor condenser, which in turn could damage your system and increase your energy expenses.
Open Your Windows
Why yes, they do open! We use our air conditioners so much in Florida that sometimes we forget our homes even have windows! So if it’s nice and cool outside, open them up and let the natural air keep your home cool. Enjoying some fresh outdoor air can save you money by allowing you to reduce air conditioner use. If you can, turn off your AC system on cooler nights and leave your windows open. And when you’re not home, close the windows and blinds to trap the cool air inside. Give your AC a break and make good use of your windows during the Fall to save energy.
Replace Your Old Windows
Have you considered replacing your old windows with new, energy efficient impact windows? Worn-out windows can increase your energy bills by letting air escape your home. So why not get new windows? Vinyl impact windows can save you money by reducing energy consumption. They also help protect your home from theft and storm damage. Find out more about energy efficient impact windows by calling us at 1-844-949-7223. And if you’re not quite ready for new windows, consider getting window treatments such as new weather stripping, which can help lower your energy bills by trapping air inside. Also have your windows inspected for cracks, openings and worn-out weather stripping.
Use your Ceiling Fans
When the weather is cooler, turn off your AC and use your ceiling fans. As we’ve mentioned in the past, ceiling fans don’t cool rooms: they cool people. But they also help circulate the air. During the Fall when it’s not hot outside, indoor temperatures remain cooler as well. So if you want to save money on energy bills, you can power off your AC and let the ceiling fans circulate the cooler indoor air. Remember to turn your ceiling fans off when you leave, and use your AC in an Automatic thermostat setting where it will only power back on if it the temperature gets warmer inside.
Check the Fridge
The seals on your refrigerator and freezer are there for a reason: to keep the cold air inside. If these seals are damaged or worn out and cold air is escaping, you’re wasting energy. Also during colder months you can raise the temperatures inside your refrigerator and freezer slightly to save a little extra money. Just don’t raise the temperatures too high to where your food will spoil. Also, if you have two refrigerators and you really only need one, try to condense all of your perishable goods into one refrigerator and unplug the other one. This will save you a lot of money on electric bills.
Handwash your Dishes
Yes, really! … Ok, ok, we know the point of having a dishwasher is to avoid the displeasurable task of having to handwash dishes, but hear us out! You should only run your dishwasher if it’s completely full, as washing multiple small loads consumes a lot of energy. If you’ve gotten into the habit of washing small loads in your dishwasher, you’re using it with unnecessary frequency. Try hand-washing your dishes if you only have a small amount. And if you washed a large load inside the dishwasher and the room temperature is warm enough, try opening your dishwasher and air drying your dishes to save money.
Wash/Dry Laundry More Efficiently
Just like the dishes: Waiting to have a full load before washing applies to your laundry too. Rather than wasting energy doing multiple small loads, wait until you have full load before doing laundry. And like your dishes, if you really want go old school, try air drying your clothes by hanging them up on an outdoor clothesline if you have one. If that’s too archaic for you, a simple way to save energy with your dryer is by cleaning the lint trap before every load. Clogged lint traps can restrict airflow, which prolongs the drying time. Another simple way to reduce drying times is to spin dry or wring out clothes before you place them in the dryer. The less time your clothes spend in the dryer, the more energy you can save.
Cooking often may consume a lot of energy as well. We’re not telling you to stop cooking, but there are ways to save energy by cooking smarter. For example, microwaves are said to consume about 80% less energy than conventional ovens, so use yours as often as you can. Also now that the weather is cooler, why not enjoy some outdoor grilling to save even more energy? Outdoor grilling is a great way to keep heat out of your home and save money on stove/oven energy use. Go ahead, enjoy more outdoor cookouts while the weather is nice!
Limit the Pool Pump
How much pool time are you getting? With cooler weather outside, how often are you really using your swimming pool at this time of year? Probably not very often. So why not shorten the time that your pool pump is running? Pool pumps consume a lot of energy, and if you’re not using your pool as much this time of year, do you really need to run it as much?