Floridians know that staying cool is a top priority during the hot summer months. When the sun is scorching, it’s nice to be able to take refuge inside a cool, refreshing home. While maintaining a comfortable home can require a lot of energy and potentially drive up your monthly electric bill, there are things you can do in your home to be more efficient and keep costs low.
Here are five simple tips for maximizing your home’s energy efficiency and your comfort this summer:
1. Strategically place your landscaping.
Did you know saving energy can start outside of the home? According to The U.S. Department of Energy, carefully positioned trees can reduce the amount of energy a typical household uses by up to 25 percent. Broad-leaf trees placed strategically to shade east- and west-facing windows help keep the sun’s heat from entering the home, which means your AC won’t have to work as hard.
Low-lying shrubs planted along the exterior walls of a home can also improve energy efficiency by keeping the ground around the home cooler.
2. Invest in a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system.
Your air conditioning system can account for more than half of your energy costs, especially during the summer when it works the hardest. This means it’s especially important to have a high-efficiency AC in your home.
The efficiency of an AC system is measured by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, also known as a SEER rating. National standards require AC systems in new homes to have a SEER rating of at least 14 in order to be considered efficient.
3. Maximize efficiency with a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set a temperate schedule for your home that lines up with your daily routine to maximize efficiency. For example, you can program the thermostat to keep your home cooler when you’re there, and to be a little warmer while you’re away. This way, you’re AC won’t be wasting energy – or money – to keep your home cool while no one is there to enjoy it.
4. Install energy-efficient windows.
Large windows that let in natural light are a popular trend among today’s homebuyers, but they can also let unwanted heat into a home. Fortunately, energy-efficient windows, such as a Low-E dual pane windows, can help solve this issue.
These windows are specially designed with two panes of glass that work to keep cool air in and hot air out.
In addition to having the right windows in your home, strategic use of window treatments, such as blinds and curtains, can also help keep your home cool.
5. Be sure your home has plenty of insulation.
Without enough insulation, your AC system will have to work a lot harder to keep your home cool, which means more cool air, and money, may be wasted. The insulation material’s R-value, or the capacity to resist heat flow, determines the effectiveness of insulation. In warm climates like Florida, insulation is considered energy-efficient at an R-value of 30.
If you’re considering buying a new home in the Tampa Bay area this summer, be sure to take these energy-saving factors into consideration.
Lennar homes come with a variety of energy-efficient features, such as a high-efficiency AC system with a programmable thermostat and energy-efficient windows, included in the list price. To learn more about the efficient features that come with Lennar’s “Everything’s Included” approach, visit ei.lennar.com.