Tips and Tricks

 John H. Parker, FIU, Gloria Anita, and Tampa Electric Company

Cooling:
• Set your thermostat at 83 degrees F when leaving home for 5 hours or more
• Install ceiling fans in all frequently occupied rooms - particularly bedrooms
• Then, raise A/C thermostats by 2 degrees for the same comfort level.
• Keep windows and doors tightly closed, pull drapes at night
• Change your A/C filter monthly, dirty filter reduces the efficiency of your A/C
• Install a light reflective roof or coat current roof with reflective coating which can reduce A/C consumption by up to 25%
• Plant drought-resistant native shade trees (such as oaks or gumbo limbos) on the east, south and west sides of the house. It can reduce A/C consumption by about 20%

Lighting:
• Switch to CFL light bulbs to save up to 75% in lighting
• Turn off lights when not in use, even for short time periods
• Decorate with lighter colors to take advantage of natural light
• Use task lighting to illuminate the work areas
• Replace holiday light/spot lights/down light with super-efficient LED lights

Electronics & Applicances:
• Hook up all your electronics on power strips and turn them off when not in use
• Want to get an in depth look at ways to save on energy use? TECO provides a free Web Based Audit you can complete in about fifteen minutes. You can also call 813-275-3909 for a phone based audit or set up a personal inspection, all at no cost to you.

Water Saving Tips:
• Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to reduce water use
• Install water-sense labeled toilets. A household could save $90 per year in reduced water costs
• Reduce lawn area by planting ground cover
• Water your lawn and plants in the early morning to reduce evaporation losses and no more than once a week- this will save you money and make your lawn healthier
• Leaks are no small matter. Even if your water bill doesn’t seem higher than usual, you may have a small leak. Routine checkups are easy and can be done by following these steps provided by City of Tampa Utilities .