When you think of energy efficiency, you probably think in terms of your appliances or maybe even your car. However, an energy-efficient home is the real key to comfortable living conditions and significant money savings. A home’s energy efficiency rating is based on a number of factors, including its age, the type and amount of insulation in the walls and attic, and even the type of light bulbs used around the home. The most energy-efficient homes share similar characteristics with one another, including:
Well Insulated and Sealed Against Air Leaks
Hidden cracks, particularly those in the attic or crawlspace, can cause huge amounts of air to enter your home, which in turn causes the heating and cooling system to work harder. This extra demand placed on the HVAC system will consume unnecessary energy and increase your utility bills. To improve your home’s energy efficiency, seal and add extra insulation to the outer walls and attic. Your energy provider can help you identify areas that need to be sealed or better insulated.
Equipped with Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star is a program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers identify the most energy-efficient products on the market. Installing Energy Star certified products, including water heaters, appliances, heating and cooling systems, lights, fans, and building materials, can significantly increase your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Protected Against the Sun
Your air conditioner is one of the biggest energy consumers in your entire home. To decrease the need for air conditioning in the summertime, install glazed windows, overhangs, and “cool” roofing materials to insulate your home from the heat of the sun. Limiting your air conditioning use may also increase the unit’s lifespan, which will save you money on maintenance and replacement costs.
Florida Public Utilities Company offers FREE residential energy check-ups. One of our experienced Energy Conservation Representatives will help you increase the value of your home and stretch every last energy dollar. Call us today at (888) 471-0413 to schedule your free energy check-up. You can also visit our website to learn more about our energy services in Florida.
Hot water is one of the key indoor conveniences that make modern life so comfortable. Unfortunately, water heating also accounts for a significant portion of your home’s energy spending, especially if you have an older, less efficient tank-style water heater installed. Fortunately, new technology allows Florida residents to take advantage of one of the state’s most abundant natural resources: the sun.
Solar water heaters can save a homeowner a significant amount of money each year, since they reduce your usage of electricity or gas. Florida Public Utilities Company also offers up to $200 in rebates on qualifying solar water heater installations. To meet the criteria, the water heater must be approved by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and a licensed contractor must install it to ensure that it is in full compliance with national and local codes.
If you are interested in installing a solar water heater in your home, and would like to know more about the rebate, call Florida Public Utilities Company today at (561) 832-0872.
Although we take every step that we can to protect our customers against power outages, sometimes the weather in Florida includes high winds that can knock down power lines or other conditions that can interrupt service at a generation station. Interruptions in electricity service may sometimes occur, and in order to stay safe when they do happen, consult the guide below.
Make Sure Your Drinking Water Is Safe
If you have an electronic water purification system in your home, it will not be working during a power outage. You will need to make sure that you have safe drinking and cooking water, so be sure to keep a few gallons on hand for just such emergencies. Make sure that you use safe water for all purposes, including dish washing, teeth brushing, hand washing, and any other applications.
Guard Against Extreme Heat
When the power goes out, electric fans and air conditioning units will not be functional. In Florida’s hot, humid climate, this can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol while the air conditioning is off, and make a trip to a local convenience store to purchase several bags of ice and store them in a cooler. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Check Your Food
Do not open your fridge or freezer unless you absolutely must during a power outage. If the blackout only lasts four hours or less, your food should be safe. Keep the freezer and fridge doors closed in order to prevent food from warming up. If you have time, transfer all perishables to a cooler full of ice after the first four hours.
If you are a Florida Public Utilities Company customer, you can call (561) 832-0872 for more blackout safety information. Always step outside to see if the outage is affecting your entire neighborhood, or just at your home. If your neighbors have power, check your circuit breaker box before reporting a full outage to us.