When people think of Northwest weather, they may think of mild temperatures and plenty of rain. Locals are occasionally caught off-guard and are unprepared for extremely high — even record-breaking —temperatures in the summer months. Here are a few ways to cool down and save energy during extremely high temperatures.
Replace filters. Clean or replace HVAC filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Build-up from dust, pet dander and other pollutants may block your filters, causing your HVAC system to work twice as hard to cool your home.
Check the time. Set heat-generating appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers to run early in the morning or late at night.
Trap cold air. Seal around leaky doors, windows and ductwork to avoid hot air entering and cool air escaping your home through gaps and cracks.
Get smart. Use the programmable features on your thermostat to set cooler temperatures only when you’re home, rather than running all day, even when you’re away.
Block it out. On hot days, close your curtains to help keep your house cool. Some types of window coverings, such as honeycomb and cellular shades, have added energy-efficiency features built into their design.
Go ductless. Thinking about adding AC? Don’t let the name fool you. A ductless heat pump also provides cooling, keeping your home comfortable year-round. It is also more efficient than a standard window unit, which saves money.
Go dark. Turn off unnecessary lighting. Turn lights on only when and where they’re needed.
Make the switch. Switch to LED lighting. LEDs don’t emit heat like traditional light bulbs.
Air it out. When you shower or bathe, turn on the bathroom fan to remove excess heat and humidity.
Contact your local utility for even more advice on making your home more comfortable and energy efficient while saving you money on heating and cooling.