10 tips to help save money on your energy bill

Many of you are watching the thermostat and your utility bill these days. FOX 35 is helping you save money with our Summer Savings series by looking into what you can do to cut your energy bill.

Data from the Energy Information Administration looked at energy bills for Florida residents. It found 50% is consumed by Appliances, Electronics, and Lighting. Air conditioning accounts for 27% and Water heating accounts for 14%.

Experts say there are big and small things you can do to save money.

Air Conditioning:

– Change your air filter.

Electrician Coy Jamerson, III has worked in the field for decades. He says a clean air filter eases the stress on the motor in your A/C. Jamerson suggests buying an accordion style and says it’s something you can install yourself. In a quick search on Home Depot’s website, the best seller was listed for $39.99.

Raise your A/C temp and turn on the ceiling fan.

Jamerson says the A/C setting depends on the family, but suggests 78 degrees with the ceiling fan on. He says it’s a more efficient way to cool your home.

Swap your light bulbs.

He says older bulbs put out 90% heat and 10% light. Newer LED bulbs do the opposite.

Jamerson says you could save big long-term by upgrading your A/C unit.

“Did a case study with a customer who did a pretty consistent schedule. When we went from an older system 10 – 12 Seer to 15 Seer, she saved 50 percent on one summer to the next on her electrical bill,” said Jamerson, III .

Water:

Jamerson says savings could come by upgrading your water heater. He says the government is also offering a 26% tax credit to people who install solar energy upgrades. This includes solar collectors to heat your water.

If you are looking for smaller budget hacks consider:

– Checking your water heater temperature. It could be costing you if it’s higher than 120 degrees.

– Washing your clothes in cold water uses less energy

– Install a water heater timer for about $50 – $60, which he says can be installed yourself

“I had a friend who put in a new water heater timer. You’re talking about $25-$50 dollar savings per month,” said Jamerson, III.

Energy Vampires:

Energy Vampires or Phantom Loads are items that still use energy when it’s turned off or not in use.

For example: your child’s gaming console, TV or internet router, or your laptop that may be plugged up until use.

Jamerson said something as simple as turning these things off at night could help save money because energy vampires could account for upwards of 5% of your bill.

“The average electric bill is $127 – $130 a month, so if your bill is over then it’s time to start looking at some things,” said Jamerson, “5% is 5% and added up over a year – that’s a nice dinner somewhere ”

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