In temperate climates such as Florida, select windows with both low U-values and low solar heat gain coefficiency (SHGC) to maximize energy benefits.
When choosing windows, look for the National Fenestration Rating Council label; it means the window's performance is certified.
Adequate insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and adjacent walls, floors, and crawlspaces, as recommended for your geographical area, can save you up to 30 percent on home energy bills.
Invest in an energy-efficient model air conditioner. You will be looking for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners. Also look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels.
Install a programmable thermostat where the temperature can be adjusted according to your schedule.
Invest in an energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance. Look for the EnergyGuide label.
Consider installing a drain water waste heat recovery system. A recent DOE study showed energy savings of 25 to 30 percent for water heating using such a system.
Consider natural-gas-on-demand or tankless water heaters. Researchers have found savings can be up to 30 percent compared with a standard natural gas storage tank water heater.
You might qualify for tax credits or rebates for buying a solar water heater. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy Web site to check.
Look for the ENERGY STARŪ label on your home appliances. ENERGY STARŪ products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Use ENERGY STAR labeled lighting fixtures.
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