Sure, you care about the environment— but you also care about your wallet.
What if we told you that you don’t need to break the bank to create an eco-friendly home? What if, in fact, you could save money in the long run by being energy efficient?
Living in the hot state of Florida, we face many costs when it comes to cooling our houses.These quick energy saving tips can help you reduce both your carbon footprint and monthly bills:
Improve your existing windows or replace with energy efficient ones
If your current windows are in good condition, check for air leaks, add weatherstripping, window treatments or a solar control film to protect temperatures from leaking in or out. When looking for new windows, check out these tips on Energy.gov or explore our post: Choosing the Right Windows for Your Home.
Use ceiling fans to spread the cool
Air conditioning uses a ton of household energy, especially for those seeking relief from Florida’s hot summer days. In fact, it accounts for a quarter of all home energy consumption. Pairing air with a fan can help distribute the cool. While running both, you can typically raise your thermostat four degrees and still feel just as comfortable as you would without a fan spinning.
Protect your roof
Dark roofs conduct much higher temperatures, reaching up to 175º F on a really hot day. Slap on a cool roof coating or opt for a lighter color top. Make sure you’re insulating from below with foam or a cellulose barrier and leave space between the insulation and the roofing material.
Consider solar or wind power resources
According to EnergySage, over a 20 year period, those with solar energy could save nearly $18,000. Not only does it save money, but it reduces your carbon footprint! For those not willing to invest in panels quite yet, many electric companies give you the option to get your energy from wind turbines or other environmentally-friendly sources.
Turn down your piping hot water heater
Most water heaters start with a standard setting of 140º F— which is excessively hot. If your water is scalding to the touch, turn it down. A temperate change to 120º F will still give you warm showers and help you maintain an energy efficient home.
Check your energy powerhouse: your fridge
Your refrigerator and freezer take up probably the largest amount of constant energy in your home. Fridges work just fine at 37º F and freezers at -3º F. What are yours set to? Don’t forget to wipe the under-coils of your fridge every few months and make sure it’s at least 7 inches from the wall for proper air flow.
Program your thermostat to regulate temperatures
The Florida Public Service Commission recommends setting your air conditioning thermostat to 78º F or higher over the summer. For those who set it to 70º F, they could be doubling their costs! Don’t be afraid to turn it up if you’ll be away for the day either to save energy.
Turn off your lights and open your blinds
This seems simple, but we all fall victim to leaving lights on in rooms we aren’t in. Could you set a timer or motion sensors to save yourself the hassle of remembering to flick them off? In the winter, keep your blinds open to let the sun in to save up to 10% of energy a day on heating.
Recycle, recycle, recycle!
Recycle your plastics, aluminum, cardboard and glass. Also, if you save your plastic grocery bags, most stores will recycle those as well. Think of other ways you could use recycled materials in the items you buy such as your toiletry products like paper, feminine products, toothbrush or any form of packaging in your home. Recycle your wasted organic products by composting and providing rich nutrients for your garden.
Change your laundry routine
Replace your old washer and dryer with an ENERGY STAR system. Washer that have earned a star use 25% less energy and 33% less water while the dryers with the accreditation use 20% less energy. Even with these systems, wash your clothes on a colder temperature and air-dry whenever possible. This shouldn’t be a problem in Florida’s summer heat!
Get an air purifier or helpful plants
Air purifiers remove fine particles like dust and pollen from your home. They can improve your air quality, but make sure you look for an energy-efficient model. You could naturally clean your air too by purchasing a spider plant, English ivy or any of these purifying plants!
Replace your bulbs
Older incandescent light bulbs are not nearly as efficient as compact fluorescent and can last 10-20 times longer. Fluorescent bulbs are a little more expensive, but they’re more efficient energy savers: emitting less heat and distributing light more evenly.
Unplug power strips when you’re gone or not using them
"Phantom power” is a term used to describe the energy used by appliances and electronics when they are turned off but still plugged in. Most homes contain 40 items that are constantly pulling power, and when combined, can account for as much as 10% of your household energy. Keeping all cords plugged into one large strip makes it easier to cut power from one unit instead of disconnecting them all.
Check for radon
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and can be naturally present in your soil, potentially entering through cracks in your foundation. Buy a radon test kit or ask a fertilization expert to test your soil.
Creating a Better Home for You & the Environment
You want to ensure your home is both economically and energy-smart — and we want to help you make the perfect eco-friendly home.
Ready to learn more about the SC Homes difference? Contact us today!
Is this your first time buying a house or are you looking to make improvements to a home you already own? Either way, we’ve got a guide to help you maximize your budget.