In Florida and across our nation, we’ve entered a new energy age – the age of careful conservation. It’s just too expensive and too hard on our environment not to reduce energy consumption, and making it happen depends on re-thinking the way we do things.
There are many ways to create energy savings. Swapping incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents and cycling the pool pump less often help, along with turning off lights and fans when you leave a room. But real energy savings lie in making your home a more efficient “system:”
• Create a tighter “envelope.”
Energy experts call your home’s shell an “envelope.” It should be tightly sealed, yet many homes have significant air leakage. Identify and seal leaks wherever surfaces meet, around doors and windows and where electrical or plumbing components enter your home.
• Seal your duct systems.
Like your home’s envelope, your duct system should be tightly sealed. Leaks occur at junctions – including where ducting meets vents. Make sure air generated by your HVAC system makes it to the intended destination.
• Insulate low R-value duct work
Duct systems are often installed within crawl spaces and attics, where extreme temperatures affect the temperature of air inside the ducts and cause your HVAC to work overtime. Look for a value of R-8 on duct work in uncontrolled spaces, and wrap or replace if necessary.
• Add attic insulation
Temperatures in Florida attics can easily reach 130 degrees. It takes a lot of insulation to separate that fierce heat from your living spaces, and adding another layer is easy.
• Consider high efficiency HVAC.
Replacing your home’s cooling unit represents some cost. But you’ll recover it in just a few years because your monthly bill from FPL will decrease significantly! The efficiency difference between an A/C unit even 10 years old and a new high efficiency unit can be enormous.
For more on creating energy savings in your home, visit FPL’s Energy Savings Toolkit site and Energy Savers from the U.S. Department of Energy. If you need help, call the professionals at Conditioned Air. Then get to work!