Energy saving tips for homeowners

September 16, 2016
Energy Saving Tips Blog, RenewPACE, FL

When the weather's warm, it can sometimes seem like your air conditioner is running nonstop, and you’re paying high energy bills each month. Did you know that saving energy in your home can not only save you money on utility costs, but also make you more comfortable? Here are 15 tips to help you save energy in your home:

1. Lower your water heater’s temperature

Just by turning down your water heater’s temperature from 140°F to 120°F (the U.S. Department of Energy’s recommended setting) you can save  about $2 a month without decreasing comfort. Same hot showers for $2 less? This change is a no-brainer.

2. Tune up your AC

An inefficient air conditioner will waste energy by running for longer periods of time, and it may not even keep you cool enough. Tune up your unit by cleaning or replacing the filter regularly, and you can extend its lifespan and ensure it cools more effectively.

3. Install a programmable thermostat

When your heater and air conditioner units are connected to a programmable thermostat, it can automatically adjust the temperature in your home to suit your lifestyle and needs. That means you’ll have fewer things to think about and can easily save energy. According to Duke Energy, a properly installed and set programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 a year in energy bills.

4. Turn off your ceiling fan when you’re out

Fans only cool you when you’re in a room by helping to increase the rate at which your body can evaporate off heat. So having a fan running when you’re not in the room is a waste of energy. Fans that are constantly turned on can cost up to $7 a month, according to Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). If you only use it when you’re in the room, you’ll save energy and money.

5. Install water efficient showerheads

Although you might think an efficient showerhead will decrease your water pressure under the shower, the only thing affected will be how much water you save. The quality of your showers will remain intact, and by replacing old, inefficient showerheads, you could save up to $80 a year in water costs, based on data from FPL.

6. Use cold water

With the technology of new laundry detergent formulas and energy efficient washers, you can easily wash your clothes in cold water. This will extend the longevity of your clothing while saving around $30 to $40 a year on your energy bills.

7. Choose energy efficient appliances

With all the electronics and appliances your home contains, upgrading them to energy efficient versions can increase your comfort while decreasing your bills. Duke Energy estimates that if just 1 in 10 homes used energy efficient appliances, the change would be the equivalent to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees. Saving money and the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved through energy efficient appliance upgrades.

8. Seal your fridge

If you feel any cold air around your refrigerator’s door when it’s closed, it might be time to replace the seal. Sealing your fridge will help you save energy while ensuring your food is preserved for longer.

9. Seal your windows

Cold or hot air from the outdoors can be entering your home through cracks near the windows. Use caulk to seal any leaks and help your home stay at a more comfortable temperature, while reducing your energy needs.

10. Install attic insulation

Installing insulation in your attic with a thermal resistance (R-value) of 38 and air sealing will reduce your home’s high cooling costs. This upgrade can also save you money throughout the year and ensure that your home stays a more consistent temperature no matter the weather.

11. Block the sun’s heat

The sun can have a great impact on the temperature of your home. By using blinds, shades or drapes to keep the sun out during the day, especially if you’re not home, you’ll prevent heat from building up inside. This simple change can also help protect your home’s furnishings and carpeting from fading.

12. Use the sun’s energy

If your home has a pool that you heat, it’s time to consider upgrading to a solar pool heating system. These use the energy of the sun to heat your pool quickly and efficiently while saving you money.

13. Light your home efficiently

We all know that incandescent light bulbs use a significant amount of energy. One compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb is up to four times more energy-efficient and produces less heat than a traditional bulb. Change your home’s lighting to more energy efficient options, like CFLs or LEDs, to  help you save while staying cooler.

14. Cook outside

Cooking indoors using the stove or oven can add to the heat already building up inside, causing your air conditioner to work even harder. Make the most out of any outdoor space your home may have by cooking or grilling outdoors. You’ll save energy while enjoying the great outdoors.

15. Upgrade your roof

Reflective roofs reduce heat buildup and prevent material expansion and contraction, which can be damaging to your roof. Upgrading your roof can increase your home’s energy efficiency and increase its value and reduce the likelihood of potential storm damage.

Renew Financial is here to help you save!

Although there are some simple things you can do today to save energy, some energy efficiency projects are more intensive and offer rewarding savings and comfort payback in the long term. Renew Financial can help you finance your home energy improvement projects with our $0 down RenewPACE financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and wind-resistance upgrades.

With RenewPACE financing, your borrowing potential is based on the value of your home. The interest rate is fixed, and you repay on your property taxes over the course of 5 to 25 years. You can borrow up to 20% of your home’s value, and if you ever decide to sell, the balance can transfer to the new owner.

Ready to get started?

Learn more about the projects RenewPACE covers and see if your home is eligible!