About "Ask the Energy Expert"
Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.
Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here
Asked on: March 31, 2015 by Pat H. from Cortez, FL
Which appliances use the most energy?
Here in Florida, your air conditioner tops the list as the biggest energy user in your home. But, your A/C isn’t the only culprit when it comes to running up your energy cost. Here are the top five things that use the most electricity in a home, and my recommendations for cutting costs:
#1 Air Conditioner
This is your top energy user because it works hard, nearly year-round, to keep your home cool. To save energy and money, we recommend keeping your A/C thermostat set to 78 degrees when you are home and 82 degrees when you are away. If 78 degrees isn’t comfortable for you, just know that with every degree you raise the temperature on your thermostat you can save up to 5 percent on cooling costs. Every little bit helps!
#2 Pool Pump
Have a pool in your backyard? If so, your pool pump is actually the second biggest energy user in a home. To save energy, we recommend limiting your pump’s run time to six hours each day in the summer and four hours each day in the winter. Visit our pool pump tips page to calculate how much yours is costing you and learn how variable speed pumps deliver big monthly savings.
#3 Water Heater
Water heaters are also a big energy user because you pay to heat water and about 10 percent of the heat escapes from the tank. You can reduce this heat loss by purchasing a low-cost kit to insulate the pipes. You can cut your hot water usage by replacing old high-flow showerheads with modern low-flow showerheads and save up to $80 per year. Lowering your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees can also help you save about $10 a year. Read my blog post on water heaters to learn more ways to save.
Lighting is the fourth largest energy user for homeowners. Many of you are already taking steps to reduce the cost of lighting your home by swapping out older bulbs for more energy-efficient options like CFLs and LEDs. Learn more by viewing my previous blogs on energy-efficient lighting and light dimmers.
#5 Other Energy Users
The fifth largest single energy user is the clothes dryer for most customers. However, refrigerators or even televisions could be the fourth or fifth biggest user if you have more than one and they are older models. If you are considering buying any of these appliances, make sure you look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure it will be energy efficient.
Tools you can use
We’re here to help learn how much energy you’re using, so you can find new ways to save. Here are some tools that can help you do that:
- View your online Energy Dashboard to see your actual energy use by month, day or hour.
- Just click to take our Online Home Energy Survey and get a detailed analysis of your home's energy use with personalized savings tips.
- Try our interactive house to get room-by-room tips that can help you save energy and money on your electric bill.
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