We are well into the Florida summer and the heat has arrived in full force! Because you want to stay cool, your electricity costs usually rise in thesummer months. But do you know why? There are actually many reasons,but they have one goal in common - keeping the house cool.
Check out these reasons explaining why customers typically see higher electricity bills in the summer. Do any apply to your home?
- The "FAN" setting is selected at the air conditioner thermostat. Instead, it should always be set on "AUTO".
- The air conditioner's air filter is clogged and air flow is restricted, causing the system to work harder and longer while running less efficiently.
- The air conditioning evaporator coils are clogged with accumulated dust. Again, air flow is restricted causing the system to run less efficiently.
- The temperature on your air conditioner thermostat is set too low. The recommended summer setting is 78 degrees. Remember - cooling costs
can almost double if you set the thermostat at 70 instead of 78 degrees!
- You have a swimming pool and the pool pump runs 24 hours a day.
- The ceiling of your home lacks adequate insulation and heat from the attic is pulled through and into the living area below.
- The refrigerator that served for twenty years in the kitchen still works, and now it is in the hot garage. The heat, coupled with the fact that is it an older appliance, causes the refrigerator to work harder, requiring more electricity.
There are some behavioral changes you can make while still staying cool, and not having a high electricity bill. It just takes some adjustments on your part!
- Minimize indoor heat: On hot days, run the dryer and dishwasher at night and let your dishes air dry. Avoid heat-generating incandescent lighting and use a microwave, toaster-oven or outdoor grill instead of the oven. It's best to avoid the use of major appliances between 2 and 8 p.m.
- Set your water heater to 120ºF.
- Keep the blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night. This is a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler.
- Window, ceiling and whole-house fans are also low-cost ways to cool your home.
- Wash clothes in cold water and clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Plug home electronics, such as TVs, DVD players and computers into power strips and turn off the power strips when the equipment is not in use. And remember - that phone charger you have plugged into the wall is still using energy!
- If you have a pool: consider slowly reducing pool filtration time by 30 minute increments daily. Keep on reducing the time as long as the water appears clean. You may find you only need to run your pool filter six hours a day. Install a timer to control the length of time that the pool pump cycles on.