Rising temperatures in Florida mark the time of year when seasonal residents begin preparing to close their homes for the summer. These snowbirds face unique challenges in preparing their homes, and Florida Power & Light (FPL) wants to help seasonal residents in its service territory face challenges like mold prevention and storm preparation, and help them save on their electric bills, too.
Although the number of seasonal residents varies, FPL estimates that there are about 400,000 seasonal residents its service territory.
FPL’s energy efficiency blogger, Danielle Mousseau, recognizes the opportunity to help seasonal residents. “We’ve noticed that seasonal residents have been very active on our blog, asking questions on ways they can save and how they can prevent mold while they’re away for the summer,” says Mousseau. “To help meet their needs, we developed a comprehensive checklist that they can use to help them save energy and money as well as prevent mold when their home is vacant.”
Like all FPL customers, seasonal residents benefit from the lowest electric bill out of the state’s 55 electric utilities, and a bill that is 25 percent below the national average, says Mousseau.
Here’s FPL’s checklist to prevent mold and save energy while your home is vacant:
- For programmable thermostats: Set your A/C to run at 72 degrees for just two hours each morning before sunrise and at 88 degrees the rest of the time.
- For non-programmable thermostats: Set your A/C to run at 80 degrees while you are away. If you live in a condo or apartment set your A/C at 77 degrees.
- For maximum energy savings: Use dehumidifiers instead of air conditioning. Set dehumidifiers at 58 percent by sinks and showers, one for every 1,000 square feet. Be sure to place the dehumidifiers so the water runs into the drain.
- Water heater: Unplug or turn off the circuit breaker to the hot water heater
- Unplug appliances and electronics. For security reasons, you may want to place timers on indoor lamps.
- Refrigerators: If you prefer to keep your refrigerator on, set it at its warmest setting. If your prefer to keep your refrigerator off, make sure to clean the interior with solution of 1 tbsp. of baking soda in 1 quart of water; dry thoroughly and leave doors open. Remove all food from the freezer and refrigerator and leave the refrigerator door propped open. If you have an automatic ice maker, switch it to the “off” position.
- Set your pool pump to run no more than six hours a day.
- Arrange for someone to check your pool’s chemical levels and water level while you’re away.
Billing and Payment Options
- For the easiest ways to receive and pay your FPL bill while you’re away, visit www.FPL.com/easy.
- Make arrangements for hurricane shutters to be installed prior to your departure if you will be gone for the duration of hurricane season, which runs from June to November.
- Make sure all smoke alarms are working and have fresh batteries.
- Discard all perishable items.
- Ask someone to check on your property every two weeks while you’re away.
- Turn off the main water valve unless you have an automatic fire-sprinkler system. If you do, turn off the water valves to your washing machine, kitchen and bathroom sinks, dishwasher and toilets.
For more information, visit www.FPL.com/seasonal.