Eight Ways to Reduce Your "Carbon Footprint"
Today many Floridians are trying to conserve energy to save money but also to reduce their "carbon
footprint" by making their home more green.
The biggest source of pollution in Florida is our coal-powered power plants so reducing the use of electricity
in your home will make a big dent in your home's carbon footprint as well as in your energy bill. Electricity used to air
condition your home, run your swimming pool filter pump, and in many homes, heat the pool and run your water heater account
for nearly 75% of electicity usage. Here are some suggested ways to recduce the amount of electricity and energy consumed
by your Florida home.
- Keep your home's thermostat at 78 degrees while you are home and at 82 degrees when you're away. "It takes much less
energy to cool a home to these levels than to lower levels, according to one Sarasota luxury homes specialist.
Invest in an inexpensive programmable thermostat to regulate
the temperature in your home automatically. It will dramatically increase your chances of success with this suggestion by
making it automatic.
- Keep your air conditioner fan in the "automatic" positon at all times. Running the fan all the time consumes a lot of electricity and doesn't actually make the home any cooler.
- Install them if you don't have them and use ceiling fans. Ceiling fans encourage evaporation of moisture from your skin making you feel more confortable. When you leave a room, remember to turn off the fan.
- Change your air filter every month. A dirty air filter forces your air conditioner to work harder to get the same amount of cooling. If you have a permanent filter, rinse it thoroughly every month. This is
especially important if you have a pet. Pet hair and dander clog up air filters quickly.
- Keep your blinds and drapes closed when you're not home and, to the extent practical, even when you are home. When you're
home at least try to keep the blinds and drapes closed on the sunny side of the home. When extra heat enters the home through windows and sliding doors the air conditioner has to work harder to maintain the same temperature.
- A well-known Sarasota FL real estate professional advises that your should have your air conditioner cleaned and checked every six months by a qualified air conditioning contractor. Have them also check for ductwork crimps or leaks. This will assure that the unit is running most efficiently and the periodic cleaning and maintenance may even add years to the life of the unit as well.
- If you have a swimming pool, another large consumer of electricity is your pool's filter pump. Many pool filter systems
run up to 8 hours a day. Reducing that to 6 hours a day in season, and to 4 hours a day off-season will reduce your monthly electric bill sunstantially.
- Think about how you heat water in your home. In many Florida homes, swimming pool water is heated to extend the swimming
season. Whether it is heated by gas or electricity, a pool heater consumes a lot of energy. Consider converting to a solar system. And, whle you're at it, look into having a solar-assist added to your hot water heater. About the only thing in Florida that is free is our sunshine and yet many still don't take advantage of it. Using the sun as an energy source will not only reduce your carbob footprint; it has the extra bonus of being "free."