Lower temps will mean higher bills. Of course, if it was summer, we would be saying the higher temps will mean higher bills. Year-round, the more extreme the temps, the harder your heating or cooling systems have to work to keep your home at a more comfortable temperature. Because that system is working harder, it’s also using more electricity, hence, the higher bill.
Whatever the temperature, there are ways year-round to battle the elements and the utility bill:
- Cover drafty windows with tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades or heavy-duty clear plastic sealed tightly all-around. When the sun is shining in the window in winter, open the drapes/shades to allow the sun to naturally heat your home.
- Set your thermostat as low in winter and as high in summer as is comfortable for you. A few degrees can save a few percent off that portion of your bill on average. Programmable thermostats can automatically optimize your usage. Wear a sweater in winter, wear light clothes in summer.
- Maintain your heating systems, whether that means replacing your filter, cleaning around outside units, or calling the professionals for annual maintenance, as recommended by your unit’s manufacturer.
- Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees – the water heater is usually the second-largest consumer of electricity in a home. Save energy and money and avoid burns from overly hot water.
- Switch your lights to LED – traditional bulbs use around 6 times as much energy.
- Make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed with caulking or weather-stripping. This keeps air from getting in or out of your house and affecting the temperature.
- Keep track of how much energy you are using through SmartHub, an app or online program you can use to also pay your PUD bill or look at your past energy usage.
The PUD offers energy efficiency incentives. Contact Energy Services BEFORE you begin your project. We have incentives for windows, doors, insulation, ductless heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. Check out our website for more info or give Energy Services a call: 509-422-8428.