While Washington residents might have to deal with rising temperatures in the summer, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to deal with rising energy bills, or sacrifice their comfort. Here are a number of ways to reduce energy expenses in your Washington home this summer.
Set the thermostat between 78 to 80 degrees when you are home and up to 85 degrees when you are away. For every degree you set your thermostat above 80 degrees, you can save approximately 2 to 3% on cooling costs.
Install a programmable thermostat and watch your energy savings add up*. Set it to reflect 78 to 80 degrees when you are home and above 80 when you are away for annual savings of 10 to 30% on the cooling portion of your energy bills.
Turn your thermostat to “auto”. This makes sure that the fan only runs when the air conditioner is running rather than running 24-hour a day, 7-days a week, as is often the case when the thermostat is set to “on”.
Routinely change your air conditioner’s air filter. Many people install their air filter and forget about it. But when filters become clogged with dirt and dust, your air conditioner has to work harder, thus raising your energy bills. You should change your filter once every 30 days during the summer months.
Turning lights off when you leave a room is a good way to save energy and, thus, lower your energy bill. Your actual savings depends on the type of lightbulbs you use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Switch to an “off-peak” energy-rate plan. These plans reward customers with reduced pricing for using energy during periods of time considered off-peak. Many electricity companies throughout Washington offer assorted conservation plans.
Seal air leaks. Caulking air leaks can save you up to 20% on your monthly cooling bill. You can also use spray foam. Focus on the windows and doors first followed by electrical outlets, switch plates, vents, electrical or gas service entrances, and attic hatches.
Invest in attic insulation for lower energy bills. You can save an estimated 10 to 30% off your monthly energy bill by properly insulating your attic. The higher the product’s R-Value (thermal resistance), the greater the savings.
*When used properly.