MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. - To commemorate Energy Awareness Month, homeowners throughout the Northwest are being reminded to review their utility bills and figure out how to not only save energy, but also money. Aaron Anckner, owner of Window World of North Puget Sound shares his tips on how homeowners can cut down on energy costs.
- Install a programmable thermostat to keep temperatures from getting too hot or cold when you’re not at home. It may be tempting to crank up the heat as the days get cooler, but the lower the temperature is inside a house, the slower the heat loss.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room. It’s one of the easiest ways to save money! It costs almost $20 a year to leave one light on for eight hours a day. While you’re at it, unplug appliances when they’re not in use; keeping them plugged in drains energy!
- Open your drapes for warmth, especially on southern-facing windows. Let your home soak up some natural sunlight instead of turning up the heat.
- Plant trees outside your windows so the shade can help cut air conditioning costs in the summer. Fall is an ideal time to start digging!
- Replace your air filters at least every three months. A dirty air filter slows down airflow and makes your system work harder.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when buying new windows — it means the windows meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Consider installing double- or triple-pane windows that have high-performance glass. The air, or in some cases gas, in between the windowpanes acts as extra insulation. Trained Window World professionals can help homeowners decide what types of windows work best in their climates, and they can install them according to local building codes and specifications.
- Check for air leaks around windows, doors and pipes. Many of these areas can be filled with caulk or special coverings. Additionally, ensure weatherstripping around windows and doors is in good condition and isn’t frayed or worn down. You can tell if there’s an air leak around your windows by holding your hand close to the edges and feeling a draft, holding up incense to see if the smoke wavers, or if you see light coming through the edges.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting to prevent surges in your bill.
- Set up a professional energy audit to get a thorough assessment of your home’s energy use. You can find information on how to do it yourself or where to find a professional on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.
Ellen Tailor features community inspiring events and causes every weekday morning on Q13 NEWS and online 24/7. To share your event or idea, email firstname.lastname@example.org and go behind-the-scenes with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.