Keeping your home and business cool and comfortable is what gets us through this time of year and Gulf Power customers can still save on their electricity bill — even with the high temperatures — by following these helpful tips:
Set your thermostat and leave it
During the summer, your air conditioner is the biggest consumer of electricity. For many homes, it accounts for more than half of the summer electricity bill.
•Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. For every degree below that setting, you’ll use 10 percent more electricity on the cooling portion of your electricity bill.
•Set the thermostat even higher when at work or away from home for long periods of time, but no more than five degrees higher.
•Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
•Use your ceiling fan for more comfort. Only turn it on when you’re in the room. Ceiling fans only cool people, not rooms.
•Clear outside AC units of plants or brush so they can run more efficiently.
Sign up for Energy Select
Energy Select is an advanced energy management and pricing program offered by Gulf Power that can help you save money and energy.
•A thermostat you program for comfort and savings.
•Online Programming - You can now program your Energy Select thermostat from any computer with internet access.
•A special rate that features four different prices based upon the time of day, day of week and season. And, because the price you pay is lower than the normal rate 87 percent of the time, you can choose to buy electricity during lower-priced periods, which saves you money and energy.
•Increase attic insulation, which can save you up to 30 percent on cooling and heating costs.
•Insulation is measured in R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow. So the higher the R-value, the better the insulation value.
•Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-38 in ceiling areas.
•Check your windows and doors for air leaks. Install weather stripping or caulking if needed.
•Choose the right size refrigerator for your needs. Larger models use more energy. Open and close the refrigerator door quickly. Know what you want before opening the door.
•Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Check it by closing a piece of paper in the door, half in and half out. If you can pull the paper out easily, you may need to make some adjustments or replace the seal.
•Keep your food covered. Moisture buildup in the refrigerator makes the air inside harder to cool.
•Run the dishwasher, dryer and the stove after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house.
•When using the dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle if you don’t need dishes right away.
•Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it. Partial loads can use just as much water and power as a full load.
•One of the best ways to save energy is to simply turn off lights that aren’t in use.
•Use fluorescent lighting or CFLs when possible. They last about 10 times longer than incandescent lamps. And, they can produce four times more light than standard incandescent lamps for the same amount of energy.
•Use one large bulb instead of several small ones in areas where bright light is needed.
•Use smaller lamps in work areas, like sewing areas and computer desks, so you don’t light the entire room.
•Lighter-colored walls, drapes, blinds and upholstery reflect light. Dark colors absorb heat and require more artificial light.
Customers can get a free Energy Checkup online or at your home with an appointment. Gulf Power energy experts will analyze your house and electricity use, and look for ways to make the house more energy efficient.
Just call 1-877-655-4001.