by Scott Ranck
In the world of residential energy use, there are two primary methods to reduce your utility costs. The first is energy-efficient equipment. Upgrading air conditioning units, water heaters and lighting can save you valuable money. Other upgrades worth considering are added insulation, duct sealing and possibly (in some cases) new windows or adding a Low E window film to the south and west facing windows.
The second approach is energy conservation. The great thing about conservation is that you can save money no matter what equipment you have. Conservation is about human behavior. We live in a great time of technology. It is now possible for you to control the majority of your home’s energy use by adding some wireless equipment and having a smart phone. I will share with you a few ideas that are now very possible for most to add to their homes and have your own energy management system.
There are several thermostats on the
market that you can program from your phone. I can turn my air conditioner up or down from my phone no matter where I am in the country. My thermostat also can sense when no one is home and automatically adjust the temperature to save me money.
You also can control your lighting from your phone. You can have lights all go off at a certain time or come on whether you are home or not for security purposes. There are also some water heaters now with smart phone applications that you can adjust the hot water temperature. You can save money by having the water heater sleep at night or when you are away on vacation. If you forgot before you leave, you can set it to vacation mode from wherever you are on vacation.
There often can be more savings through conservation measures using these technologies than through upgrading equipment. But when equipment fails and you need to replace it, upgrade to higher efficiency equipment as well.
For more energy saving tips, contact your energy experts at Florida Public Utilities www.fpuc.com/energyexpert.
Scott Ranck is the Conservation Program Coordinator & Energy Specialist for Florida Public Utilities. Feel free to e-mail any energy-related questions or comments to Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.