Most Floridians do not look forward to the sweltering heat that comes with August. “Our instinct is to crank the AC and resign to pay for it later,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.
Install a smart thermostat. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports you can save $50 a year on your energy bills, while some thermostat manufacturers claim those savings can reach $100 or more. Popular brands include Google Nest, Lux and Ecobee.
Use fans. This seems obvious, but ceiling fans need readjusted seasonally. In the summer, set fans to run counter-clockwise and at a higher speed. Also, fans cool people not rooms, so turn off your fan when you leave the room. Don’t forget to turn on exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms to remove heat and humidity.
Create shade. Everybody loves the sunshine, but keeping blinds and curtains closed, especially on south and west facing windows will keep your home cooler. Investing in blackout curtains can significantly reduce heat gain.
Replace your air filter. The US Department of Energy (DOE) suggests replacing your air filter with a clean one can lower your AC’s energy consumption by 5-15 percent.
Get a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture out of the air. Reducing the amount of moisture in the air makes us feel cooler. It also provides relief from mold, mildew and some allergens.
Switch your lights. Ditch incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Incandescent bulbs waste 90 percent of their energy in the heat they produce. Replacing them can cool your home while lowering your electric bill.
Avoid creating heat. Turn off your hairdryer and the oven. Utilize your grill and crock pot more often.
Be smart about your clothing choices and have plenty of cool drinks on hand.