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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: October 11, 2013 by Trina A., Miami
Which appliances use the most electricity in the house and contribute the most to your electric bill?
There is one appliance here in Florida that works hard year-round – your air conditioner. It takes a lot of energy to keep your home cool in our hot, humid climate especially in the warmer months. That’s why we recommend keeping your A/C thermostat set to 78 degrees when you are home and 82 degrees when you are away to help manage energy costs. 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!
While swimming pools can help you cool off, pool pumps are actually the second biggest energy user in a home. To save energy with this appliance, we recommend you limit your pool 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 about variable speed pumps that deliver big monthly savings.
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 kit to insulate the pipes for under $5. 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 from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can also help you save about $10 a year. Learn more about water heaters and ways to save.
Lighting is the fourth largest energy user for homeowners. But 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.
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 a new refrigerator or big screen TV, make sure you look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure it will be energy efficient.
For more tips around your home, 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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