Seasonal Residents and Vacationers Benefit From Energy-Saving Tips From FPL
April 20, 2001

JUNO BEACH, Fla., April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Florida Power & Light Company says vacationers and part-time residents can reduce the amount of electricity they use while away and still protect their belongings from damage due to mold and mildew that grow so easily in Florida's hot, humid climate. Seasonal residents making plans to leave for the summer, or permanent residents taking a short summer reprieve from Florida's heat, can save money and conserve energy by giving their homes an energy break.

In order to protect belongings from mold and mildew, the energy experts at FPL recommend taking steps to eliminate or reduce the cause of its growth. Causes for mold and mildew growth include stagnant air, relative humidity of 70 percent or more and inside temperatures of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Two other factors promoting mildew growth are cotton fiber and oxygen.

While air conditioning is the simplest and most effective way to control mold and mildew, FPL says it also represents the largest part of the home electric bill during the summer. FPL suggests placing the air conditioning system on a timer so that it operates only two hours per day, preferably between midnight and 6 a.m., when humidity peaks. In addition, the thermostat should be set several degrees cooler than the anticipated nighttime low temperature, but not so cold as to cause condensation buildup on the windows.

FPL recommends programmable thermostats as a good investment for controlling energy use, too; because air conditioning use can be reduced, just as if the system were on a timer. Finally, the energy experts at FPL say part-time residents and vacationers should at least set the home's standard thermostat control to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the fan switch to "auto" while the home is vacant.

Using a humidistat can control humidity and/or temperature, too. "Humidstats work by turning on the air conditioner when the humidity and/or temperature exceed the set level," said Patricia Davis, energy expert for FPL. "Humidistats are especially effective in controlling the environment for oil paintings, wallpaper or other items easily damaged by high temperatures or humidity levels," she said. FPL recommends professional servicing of humidistats every one or two years to ensure that the humidistat's element remains accurate, reliable, and does not drive up your bill.

FPL offers this advice for other home appliances:

* Turn the water and swimming pool heaters off, because these two appliances will maintain hot water even while the home is vacant.

  * Set the refrigerator at the warmest setting while away.
  * Use timers for security lighting.

Other tips to control moisture include leaving all closet doors, drawers, vanities and cabinets open to allow for air circulation. For the same reason, hang all clothing loosely in closets and do not use plastic clothes protectors.

Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. , one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related services with annual revenues of more than $7 billion. The company serves approximately 3.9 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's energy-generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at


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SOURCE: Florida Power & Light Company

Contact: FPL Corporate Communications, Media Line, 305-552-3888