With an average high of 74 degrees, it would seem that concerns related to rising electrical bills during summer here in Seattle would not be that prevalent. The reality is that there are a couple of factors that can drive power costs up during summer, and area residents need to be aware of them. Keeping your house cool is one thing. Saving is another thing.
First off, despite the average summer temperature hovering pleasantly around the mid 70s, there are days when it may stretch up into the high 80s and low 90s. Compounding this is the reality that there may be less that 10% of Seattle homes that have air conditioning.
Short of incurring the costs of having either a central air condition system or window air condition units installed, it may appear that there’s not much that can be done to lower those summer electricity bills, which often rise by as much as 5 percent. But this is a false assumption. There are steps you can take to help lower power usage costs.
Here’s a few that can help you keeping your house cool and save money.
Break out the fans
While it’s true that box fans and other portable fan options certainly help to circulate air in the home, they aren’t as effective as ceiling fans are in cooling the home and helping to lower power costs. If your home doesn’t already have ceiling fans, you might be well advised to consult with a professional electrician about having them installed. Here are some ways a ceiling fan can cool your home while helping to lower summer electric bills.
• Ceiling fans should be set to run counterclockwise during summer as this prohibits hot air from collecting near the ceiling and allows for the fan to circulate the air throughout the room which helps to equalize the temperature.
• Ceiling fans also work to lower temperatures by making people feel physically cooler. Because they cool by evaporation, ceiling fans can make a room feel over 5 degrees cooler.
• If you decide to have ceiling fans installed, consider choosing Energy Star-rated fans. Due to advances in design these fans are capable of moving air up to 20 percent more efficiently, as well as reducing heat by as much as 75 percent from Energy Star-rated ceiling fans that come with light fixtures that are 50 percent more efficient.
• If your home has an attic, consider consulting with an electrician about the benefits of installing a whole-house fan, which can help cool down your home during nighttime hours when the temperature has dropped below 70 degrees. The energy savings of a whole-house fan, as compared to an air conditioning system, is substantial and can greatly defray the cost of having one installed.
Let there be proper lighting
Believe it or not the lighting fixtures in your home can have a considerable impact on electrical bills, especially during summer months.
• Changing light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, can reduce heat in the home substantially.
• With consultation with an electrician, you may opt to have Energy Star Certified light fixtures installation. This can result in up to a 75 percent decrease in energy consumption while generating 70 percent less heat. In addition, these fixtures allow the use of CFLs which last as much as 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
• Don’t forget your porch light. While it can be one of the most used lights in the home, it also consumes a lot of energy. It is a perfect candidate for having a new Energy Star Certified light fixture installation to replace it.
What about wiring?
Seattle’s cold winters are not particularly friendly to your home’s wiring. Make sure you are aware of the condition of your existing wiring. After that, decide if you need to have an electrician inspect it. Of course, not only for reasons of efficiency, but for safety reasons as well.
• If your wiring is faulty it can have a substantial impact on your power cost. Wires with damage and problems associated with cold weather should not be taken lightly and may, in fact, need replacing. This is especially true in older homes.
• It is also possible that there may be undetected problems with your temperature control system’s thermostat. This may cause an increase on power consumption.
Are you sick of paying higher electric bills during summer while keeping your house cool? Are you not ready to invest in an air conditioning system?
It may be time to call in a professional electrical services company for a home inspection.
Here in Seattle, Wire Craft Electric is an award winning electrical company serving the city and surrounding areas since 2004. They pride themselves on their same day service and on their up front pricing policies.
Keeping your house cool matters to us. At the same time, saving you bucks in the long run matters more to us.