July Take Action Period - Week 2
It’s week two of Reduce Energy Use DC’s Take Action Period and this week we’re focusing in on temperature. Did you know that heating and cooling costs can account for up to 50% of electricity bills? In fact, it’s recommended that you keep your thermostat at 78F as much as possible during the summer.
But don’t worry, we’ve got some additional tips if that temperature is a bit too balmy or you have a have a health condition that requires a cooler temperature:
- Use a ceiling fan to help bring down the temperature
- Use curtains or shades to slow warming from the sun during the day
- Seal gaps around window AC units to keep out hot air
- Seal and minimize air leaks around your home- including doors and window frames, electrical outlets, fireplace dampers, and mail slots
- Add insulation the attic, below floors, in walls, crawl space, basement, and around hot water heater and pipes
- Make sure that your HVAC system is properly maintained (set a calendar reminder to replace your air filter at least every three months; during heavy use- summer and winter- check your air filter monthly and replace it if it is dirty; some filters can be cleaned rather than replaced, so be sure to check)
- Switch to a Smart Thermostat
- Try using the toaster oven, microwave or grill- these cooking methods use less energy and avoid excess oven heat that makes your home hotter
- Save energy while sitting on your porch or at the park- turn your thermostat up and go outdoors while following social distancing guidelines
- Use a dehumidifier, they let your AC run more effectively since HVAC systems have to work harder to cool air that's humid
We realize that you may be considering energy efficient purchases, see if you are eligible for rebates offered by the DC Sustainable Energy Utility. Purchase and install a qualifying smart thermostat and receive a $50 rebate. Get between $250-$375 back on efficient central air conditioning units until September 30, 2020. You may be eligible for federal tax credits for energy efficiency improvements, including installing new highly efficiency heating and cooling systems.