Survive and thrive when the weather heats up in Oregon
Can you believe the sunny weather we’ve had this spring? We may be in for another hot summer in the Pacific Northwest. While Oregonians and Washingtonians know how to stay warm and dry in the winters, we’re aren’t always as adept at beating the heat – and many of us don’t have air conditioning in our homes. As we trend to warmer temps, check out these ways to reduce your heat exposure and your energy bills.
Pull the shades
Blocking the direct sun from coming through your windows goes a long way toward keeping temps down inside. Pull all the shades, or rotate which shades are down to match the direction of the sunlight throughout the day.
Keep doors and windows closed as long as possible
The western side of the Pacific Northwest enjoys cooler temperatures at night and in the mornings even during some of our hotter summer months. Trap that cool air inside as long as possible. Wait to open windows and doors for ventilation until the warmer part of the afternoon.
Run heat-making appliances during the night
You may not be able to avoid using your oven, but consider running your dishwasher and laundry dryer at night or in the early morning when temps are cooler. Make sure to run your vent fans in the bathroom and kitchen to draw warmer, moist air out of your house.
Turn off the lights
It’s brighter in the summer and lighter for longer. If you don’t need those lights, turning them off will reduce heat and your electric bill.
Adjust your ceiling fans
During the summer months, adjust your ceiling fans to run in a counterclockwise (downward) direction. This doesn’t “cool” your home, but it does cool the occupants. Breezes on the skin help keep body temperature down.
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees
The comfortable high temperature for humans is 78 degrees. If you do have air conditioning, set your thermostat higher for energy savings. Studies show that even a degree lower can increase your energy use by up to 6 percent! Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to control temperatures to match the weather outside. When you’re not home, it’s not necessary to spend the extra money keeping your home cool. Smart thermostats that adapt to your habits and predict the most comfortable temperature for your home, including remote controls accessed with your smartphone.
Acclimate yourself to warmer weather
Humans normalize their body temperature to the environment in which they spend the most time. Acclimate over time to a warmer climate in your home, and you won’t find you need to keep temperatures as cool overall. It takes about two weeks to adjust to higher or lower average daily temperatures. During this time, drink plenty of water and make sure to ventilate your home adequately.
Change your furnace filters
Don’t save HVAC system inspection and filter changes for the winter – a clean filter helps your system run more efficiently, as well as filter out air pollutants like allergy-inducing pollen and potential smoke during the wildfire season.
Service your HVAC and thermostat
Many AC systems are outside your house and subject to interference from flora and fauna in addition to collecting more dust and debris. Inefficient or malfunctioning HVAC equipment results in higher energy costs.
Consider an upgrade to a high-efficiency HVAC system
Today’s high-efficiency HVAC systems can save you 20 to 50 percent on your energy costs. Carson Heating & Cooling has been specializing in the installation and service of heating and cooling equipment for over 50 years. Carson proudly offers the Fujitsu Ductless Heat Pump system for quiet, energy-efficient heating and cooling. These sleek units require no ductwork and allow for flexible, room-by-room temperature control. Our team will work with you to take advantage of energy efficient rebates from day one.