As Floridians, we know the importance of closing doors and windows as to not let money slip away while we’re using A/C.

In reality, there are several things you can do around your home to save money on monthly utility bills. From using energy-using equipment to following general best practices, you can develop a smart routine as you settle into your new home in order to save on its energy consumption.

Here are a few tips to follow to keep your new home, wallet, and overall comfort well-maintained.

1. Use LEDs for Exterior & Interior Lighting

Egret II exterior at Amelia National Golf & Country Club

  • As light bulbs need replacing, make sure to use compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs.
  • Use day lighting and task lighting in perimeter spaces when overhead fixtures are not needed
  • Retrofit light switches to include occupancy sensors, timers or photo cells in areas that are frequently unoccupied
  • Use outdoor lights with a combined photocell and motion sensor
  • Never leave exterior or security lighting on during the day

Fun Fact: 75% of the electricity used to power electronics is consumed while the products are turned off, but not unplugged!

2. Seal Your Exterior Doors

Belaire model home at Oakmont

  • Air seal (weather strip) exterior doors or doors opening to unconditioned spaces
  • Air sealing of doors involves both the sides around the jambs and along the bottom of the door

3. Use Blinds on Windows

Master bedroom in the Egret II model home at Amelia National Golf & Country Club

  • Regulate solar heat gain by using blinds or exterior shading devices. White blinds, shades, or curtains reflect heat away from the home
  • Lower solar shades in summer to block heat gain from the sun, and raise them in winter to allow for solar heating

4. Regularly Inspect Your Laundry Equipment

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Utility room in the Bordeaux at Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club

  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire

5. Clean Kitchen Refrigeration

ICI Biltmore II

Kitchen in the Lucca at Siena at Town Center at Nocatee

  • Routinely clean the coils
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator or freezer. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment and/or the seal may need replacing
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder
  • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section
  • Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers as frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch

Remember to regularly clean and dust all appliances, as clean equipment operates more efficiently! For a full list of home maintenance tips we recommend, visit our site.