Top Five Ways to Keep Your Energy Bill Low

Spinnaker

Living in North Florida means higher costs than the rest of the state during winter months. Here are some energy-saving tips that can help you lower your monthly bill, be more environmentally conscious and stay warm during winter.

1. Shut it down when you’re not around
As tempting as it may be to leave your computer on so it starts up quickly, that small convenience will cost you extra cents. Putting it in sleep mode or turning it off will help you save — screen savers won’t. Better yet, try plugging an AC adapter into a power strip that can be turned off when you’re not using it.

2. Use your heater wisely
Check your filter every month. Change it if it looks dirty — at least every three months. Dirty filters prevent proper airflow and make the system work harder to keep you warm. Keep your thermostat low, the recommended setting for winter is 68 degrees. If you’ll be gone four or more hours, lower it to 65 degrees. To use even less energy, wear an extra layer of clothes or have a hot drink when you get cold, rather than cranking up the heat.

3. Limit your liquid flow
Start by setting your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or lower. Take short showers rather than baths, and turn the water off while you shave or shampoo and condition your hair. You can also invest in a low-flow shower head, which can significantly reduce water use. When washing clothes, use cold water.

4. Turn the light bulb in your head on and the one in your bedroom off
Use daylight as much as possible and turn off lights as soon as you’re done using them. Sometimes lights are used out of habit rather than necessity — try turning them off when showering or using the computer. The next time you buy light bulbs, look for compact fluorescent light bulbs. Even though they cost more, they use less energy and last up to 10 times longer.

5. Pay attention to the little things
Seal drafty windows and doors with weather stripping, cover windows with clear plastic or black sheets for better insulation and sun absorption, and turn your fan on low. Hot air rises, remember? Raise the temperature of your refrigerator, make your own ice, hang-dry your clothes and leave the oven open after you use it to make that yam pie.