We all know that Florida summers can be brutal. They can be especially brutal on your electric bills. Heating and cooling account for 50% to 70% of the energy used in your home. How do you save electricity in the summer? We have some tips and tricks that will help you save electricity during the hot summer months.

Peak Time

There are peak times of the day for energy usage. If you run your utilities during these peak times, your rates could be higher. Utility companies actually raise the gas and electricity rates between 11 am and 7 pm. You can save electricity by running your washer and dishwasher before or after these times. Try to do all of your chores that use the bulk of your electric after dinner or early in the morning. These savings can really add up.

Energy Star

A great way to save electricity is to use Energy Star appliances. If you are planning to upgrade your washer, dryer or refrigerator, look for the blue Energy Star logo. These appliances are 25% more energy efficient and use 40% less water than older appliances. You not only save electricity, but you will save a lot of money on your monthly bills with these types of appliances.

Oven

Using your oven to cook meals during the summer really heats up your house. This, in turn, makes your air conditioner work harder to keep your house cool. A better way to cook dinner during these months is on your backyard grill. This uses no electricity and will help you keep your utility bills lower during the summer.

Ceiling Fans

Running your AC all summer is really expensive. A great alternative to cranking up your AC is to use ceiling fans. They circulate the colder air better throughout your house. A ceiling fan doesn’t lower the actual temperature in the room, but it has a wind chill effect. This makes you feel cooler by causing the perspiration on your skin to evaporate. To save electricity, turn them off when no one is in the room.

Insulation

If the insulation in your home is old, you can lose a lot of energy through it. Older homes are generally not as well insulated as newer homes. The building codes have become stricter over time. Builders have had to add more insulation on newly constructed homes. Improving the insulation in your home is a great way to lower your summer utility bills.

Air Conditioner Efficiency

It’s recommended that you have your air conditioner checked every year by a professional. This way, you will know if your unit is running efficiently. If your air conditioner is over 15 years old, you should think about upgrading it to a newer model. One of the problems with older models is air leaks. This can be wasting a lot of electricity. They can be sealed by a professional very easily.

Shade

If the sun is hitting your house, it can really heat up your home. You will want to keep the drapes and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home. Another great solution is to plant trees in your yard. They will keep your house permanently shaded and add beauty to your yard at the same time.

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