When the temperature outside is extreme, the amount of energy required to regulate the temperature inside your home can lead to costly bills.
Avista Chief Efficiency Engineer Tom Lienhard recommends three ways to save energy — and money — this summer. And here’s a bonus: he said these tactics for keeping homes cool in the summer also keep them warm in the winter.
FOCUS ON WINDOWS & DOORS
Proper insulation and air sealing techniques around windows and doors successfully keep the heat outside in the summer and inside during the winter. A good way to find leaks around doors is to have a helper outside the door in the dark with a flashlight and have them run the light around the door. Where you see light you have issues. A one-quarter inch gap at the bottom of a door or an one-eighth inch gap around the whole door is the equivalent of a softball-sized hole. Caulking around doors and windows is best done when the temperature is warm and the surfaces are dry in the late spring, summer or early fall.
DON’T OVERLOOK THE ATTIC
Adequate ventilation in the attic has a significant impact on the temperature of your home. Gable, soffit and roof vents, among other options, can lower the temperature in your attic by about 30 degrees in the summer, according to the Department of Energy. An attic needs a year-round flow of natural air, provided your insulation is R-38 or greater, but make sure your attic soffit vents are not covered with insulation.
CIRCULATE THE AIR
Consider fans. A whole house fan pulls air in through open windows and exhausts hot air through the attic or roof, flushing out the built-up heat and cooling your home in the process. A ceiling fan is the most effective because it creates a wind-chill factor on your skin, making you feel cooler.
NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2019 Liberty Lake Yearbook.