My husband and I bought our home when I was pregnant with my daughter about six years ago. It is an older home and we have been slowly upgrading it little by little every year. This summer, we are focusing on getting our energy bill in check so we can use that money toward vacation and home upgrades.
Today, I have teamed up with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) to discuss how to save energy at home using the FPL Energy Analyzer. It’s a free new tool that helps me become more aware of where I use energy and how to save on my energy bill.
FPL Energy Analyzer
I am super impressed with the FPL Energy Analyzer. It breaks down and itemizes the actual cost and use of energy throughout my home. I discovered a ton of information about where to save based on what I am actually using in my home. The tool pulls information from my actual meter data. For the first time ever, I know what it really costs to run my appliances. The Energy Analyzer gave me exclusive tips to help me save on my bill. I have included some of those energy saving tips below, but you should check your own to see where you can save. The tool gets specific and breaks down where you can save.
The Energy Analyzer is super easy to set up and does not require a lengthy survey. It’s free to all FPL customers with no equipment to buy, and literally just requires a click to use and find out how and where you can save. You can access anywhere, anytime via phone, desktop or tablet.
The biggest savings that we have seen so far is on lighting. All of our light bulbs are LED. They don’t heat up like incandescent bulbs and they take less energy to light your home. The cost of LEDs has dropped significantly since we started buying them and we have been replacing everything with LED bulbs every time one goes out.
The largest portion of my energy bill goes toward cooling my home. No shocker there! We live in Florida and it is extremely hot outside!
Raise the Thermostat When You’re Away
I learned from the Energy Analyzer that for every degree higher you set your thermostat, you’ll save 5% on monthly cooling costs. Also, you can save money by setting your thermostat to 82° F when you’re away for more than four hours.
When I know I will be out of the house, I set the temperature usually around 78° F. Now that I know that 82° F is better, I will be making that change.
I have an automatic setting on my Ecobee thermostat that allows me to turn up the temperature even before I wake up. My husband and I like it cold when we sleep so the A/C is set to 71° F. The automatic setting shuts off the A/C even before we wake up, so we’re not freezing in the morning.
Consider purchasing and installing a smart thermostat. Average savings could add up to 3% of your total energy costs. We have one and we love it!
Clean or Replace your Filter Monthly
To help with the cooling part of your energy bill, cleaning or replacing your filter is a huge help. I recently set up a reminder on my phone to change our filter. It is not something that comes to my mind each month. I definitely need a reminder.
Close Your Blinds and Drapes during the Day
One of the tips in the “All Tips” tab of the Energy Analyzer is to make sure to close your drapes and blinds during the day as the heat from the sun can cause your home to get hotter and require more cooling. I wouldn’t have thought of this before using the tool.
Clean Your A/C Unit
Clean your A/C unit every year to remove all the dust, debris and pollen that has accumulated. Dirt buildup on the indoor coil is the most common cause of poor efficiency. I also set a reminder to do this on my calendar as it is not something that I think about unless I am reminded.
Another nugget of information that I got from the Energy Analyzer is to run your ceiling fans counterclockwise to force air down and help circulate cool breeze in your home. Also, I learned that ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Make sure to turn off the ceiling fan when you leave the room to save energy. This is something that I am doing now since I learned it from one of the tips offered by the tool.
We really need to add more insulation to our second floor in the attic. I have noticed that different rooms don’t retain the heat or coolness because they are not insulated properly. According to the Energy Analyzer, insulation could reduce your annual energy costs by 20%. That is a huge savings and something that I am looking into. I love that it gives you these personalized tips for saving money on energy.
Water Heating Energy Savings
Lower the temperature of your water heater. We did this when we first moved in because the water was scorching and we had a little baby we did not want to accidentally scold. I think because of this water heater choice, that part of our energy bill is extremely low. I confirmed through the Energy Analyzer that this change can help save 3 to 5% of my water heating costs.
Cooking Energy Savings
Whoa! Apparently, I do almost all of the things the Energy Analyzer recommends for energy savings on cooking. YAY!! Considering how much I cook, I was surprised how low that part of my bill was. These energy saving tips explain why.
Use the Right Sized Burner
When I cook, I always use the burner for the size of my pot or pan. In fact, my stove allows you to choose the burner size. This helps conserve some energy.
Slow Cookers Save Energy
Apparently, as the Energy Analyzer showed me, using a slow cooker is a lot more efficient than using an oven or stove when preparing foods that can take hours to cook. Save some energy and try these yummy slow cooker recipes.
- Crockpot Chicken Marsala
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Paleo Chili Recipe
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup
- Crockpot Chai Hot Chocolate
- Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken
Banish Warped Cookware
I recently donated a cooktop griddle that was warped. It was painful because I loved that griddle, but I used a gift card for my birthday to get a griddle pan that is much more practical. Apparently, it was the right choice because I learned through the Energy Analyzer that a warped-bottom pot or pan can take 50% more energy to do the same job.
Use Your Oven Light
Turn on the oven light to look through the glass window instead of opening the oven door to check food. This is something that I need to start doing ASAP! It makes sense, but I always open the oven to check.
Electric Kettles Save Energy
An electric kettle uses less energy than a pot on the stove. Plus, the water level indicator helps you boil only as much water as needed. I bought my electric kettle about a year ago and I LOVE it! I use it for all my hot beverages.
Use the FPL Energy Analyzer to find out helpful tips on where you can save in your home.