Best Home Services Can Help Detail Your Energy Consumption
The electricians at BHS help you identify the biggest electricity hogs in your Southwest Florida home. General awareness of how you are using electricity will allow you to reduce your usage rate and lower your energy bills. We have spent nearly four decades providing comprehensive electrical services to residents throughout Tampa, Naples, Sarasota, Fort Myers, and the surrounding area. During that time, we have pinpointed how local homeowners typically use their electricity. We are happy to share this information with you so that you can make eco-friendly lifestyle changes that will reduce your home expenses. Contact our team of licensed electricians to learn more.
Identifying the Biggest Electricity Hogs in Your Home
Maintaining an energy-efficient home in Southwest Florida has a bevy of benefits, among them lower utility bills. The U.S. Department of Energy explored energy usage by category in typical homes across the country, and our local electricians have noticed similar trends. The department found the percentage of energy use for major categories among average U.S. households to be:
- Air conditioning and heating – 46%
- Water heating – 14%
- Appliances – 13%
- Lighting – 9%
- TV and media equipment – 4%
Air Conditioning and Heating
Unsurprisingly, air conditioning is a top energy consumer among households in Southwest Florida. Hot, humid weather makes air conditioning a necessity throughout the summer, and sometimes well into the fall months. The sweltering heat causes your air conditioning system considerable strain, which increases energy expenditure. With such a burdensome workload, your AC may account for half of your total electricity usage in a given month. However, there are several ways to minimize its strain without sacrificing comfort.
- Invest in a smart thermostat – BHS can install a smart thermostat in your home. You can then program this modern convenience to adjust your home’s temperature while you are away and do not need the air to be as cool.
- Use shades to block the sun – On sunny days, close your curtains to prevent the sun’s rays from shining into your home and adding unwanted heat.
- Use ceiling fans – Set your ceiling fans to counterclockwise and let them circulate air in your living spaces, providing a cool indoor breeze as they do.
- Maintain your AC – Replace air filters and allow BHS to service your AC unit regularly to improve its efficiency.
Though our winters are brief and relatively warm compared to some other parts of the country, your electric heating system is a significant contributor to household energy use during colder months. Electric heaters are practical in Southwest Florida but lack the efficiency of alternatives that use different fuel sources. To reduce energy consumption from your heater, consider:
- Sealing any air leaks – Upgrading your insulation and sealing any air leaks around doors and windows can help improve your home’s efficiency and reduce the energy required to maintain a warm home during the winter.
- Scheduling a maintenance appointment with BHS – We will visit your home toward the end of the summer to tune up your electric heating system and ensure it operates at peak efficiency.
- Lowering the thermostat at night – Cooler temperatures are conducive to deeper sleeping, so manually lower your thermostat at night or program a smart thermostat to do it for you.
Accounting for more than one-eighth of most homes’ energy usage, water heaters are the second-most prolific electricity hog in your Southwest Florida home. A typical water heater will operate for about three hours daily. Whether you are bathing, washing the dishes, or cleaning clothes, you will require hot water. So be mindful of your habits as they relate to water usage. You can cut back on energy consumption by:
- Conserving hot water – Even though they can be relaxing, make an effort to take shorter showers. You can also wash clothes in cold water to reduce the amount of hot water you use.
- Install an insulation jacket – BHS can help make your water heater more efficient by installing an insulation jacket around its tank and insulating your home’s pipes.
- Invest in low-flow showerheads and faucets – By reducing the amount of water you are using, you will need to heat less of it.
Not far behind water heaters in terms of electricity usage, home appliances are significant factors for high energy bills. Some of your home’s appliances run continually, while you operate others on an as-needed basis. But their collective electricity toll mounts quickly. Of the major appliances, your refrigerator is the one that you cannot choose to use less frequently. But you can take measures to reduce its electrical footprint, just as you can with your other everyday appliances.
- Refrigerator – You can increase your refrigerator’s efficiency by arranging its contents in a manner that is convenient for you, thus reducing the amount of time its door remains ajar. It is also advisable to abstain from overloading your refrigerator and regularly cleaning behind and underneath it to maintain airflow.
- Washer and dryer – Washing clothes is one of life’s less-than-thrilling chores, but it must be done. This activity can use up to 5% of your home’s energy. Do your part to minimize energy usage by only washing full loads, using cold water, and utilizing drying racks when possible.
- Electric oven and range – Food preparation is among your daily tasks, meaning the oven and range get plenty of use. When possible, use smaller toaster ovens or microwaves to reduce the electricity you need to cook meals.
- Dishwasher – After you have filled your belly, dirty plates and utensils are all that remains from dinner. Your dishwasher is an effective way to clean each, but it will consume even more energy. It can also introduce additional heat to your home, making your air conditioner work even harder. Wash your dishes by hand if you can. But when you use your dishwasher, be sure to turn off heated dry during its cycle to reduce electricity use.
Almost 10% of your home’s electricity use is the result of lighting. After the sun goes down, you need those lamps and overhead lights to see what you are doing. But many homeowners in Southwest Florida get in the habit of leaving lights on throughout the house. BHS’s tips for cutting back on electricity usage from light fixtures include:
- Turn off lights – Thought it should be obvious, turn off the lights as you leave each room.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs – Older-model incandescent light bulbs can sap your electricity. LED bulbs use 80% less electricity, so upgrade to modern amenities.
- Use natural light – During the day, there is rarely a need for lights in your home. Take advantage of being in the Sunshine State by letting rays of light shine through your windows. As an added benefit, they can provide heat during the winter.
Television and Media Equipment
Electronic entertainment such as TVs, set-top boxes, and video game consoles comprise a considerable amount of your electricity use. Even when they are not in use, they drain standby power. To help minimize their energy consumption, BHS recommends:
- Reducing screen brightness – Soften the contrast on your screens to lessen energy use.
- Turn off electronics – Much like the suggestion to turn off lights when you leave a room, do the same with your electronics. There is no sense in letting your couch watch the Rays game.
- Deactivate standby mode – Do not let your electronics use electricity even when they are off. Deactivate standby mode and quick-start settings.
Recognizing Lesser-Considered Electricity Hogs
Although the bulk of your electricity usage will come from the major categories, there are more to consider. For Southwest Florida homeowners, a common culprit of electricity usage is a pool pump. Few leisurely activities are more enticing on a hot summer day than taking a dip in one’s pool. But the pump that keeps pool water circulating accounts for up to 70% of the backyard oasis’ energy use. Invest in an ENERGY STAR®-certified pump to cut energy consumption considerably. Other regular household items that use significant electricity include older furnace fans and battery chargers, among others. Upgrade to modern versions of each to lower your energy bills.
Contact Best Home Services Today
For assistance recognizing the biggest electricity hogs in your Southwest Florida home, call on the expertise of BHS’s certified residential technicians. We can offer advice on how to change your habits to reduce energy use. Not only that, we can help if anything goes awry. Our 24-hour electricians can visit your home at any time to deal with emergencies and restore normalcy to your household. Furthermore, residents throughout the area know BHS for our comprehensive home services, which include HVAC work, plumbing, and drain cleaning. Contact us today to learn more about our many areas of proficiency.