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Eastside Homes: Summer Energy Efficiency Made Easy

Karen Balkin
Jun 10 1 minutes read

As we welcome the warm embrace of summer on the Eastside, from the lush views of Bellevue to the vibrant streets of Kirkland and beyond, thoughts naturally drift to how we can keep our homes cool and comfortable without letting our energy bills skyrocket. Fear not, for achieving a cool, energy-efficient home during the balmy months is well within your grasp. By integrating a blend of savvy practices and straightforward modifications, you can enhance your home's energy efficiency. Here’s your guide:

1. Start with Sealing

Before the Eastside sun begins its intense summer performance, conduct a thorough inspection of your home for any air leaks. Focus on sealing gaps around windows, doors, and vents to keep the cool air in and the warm air out. Weather-stripping and caulking are cost-effective measures that can massively contribute to a comfortable indoor climate.

2. Insulation is Key

Proper insulation is not just a winter ally; it's also your summer shade. Check the insulation in your attic, walls, and floors against recommended levels. The Eastside, with its mix of older charm and new builds, might surprise you with insulation needs, especially in older homes eager to soak up the sun.

3. Energy-Efficient Appliances: A Smart Upgrade

As you consider replacing old appliances, choose energy-efficient models sporting the ENERGY STAR label—a sign they meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the EPA. This upgrade is particularly beneficial in the Eastside, where technology and sustainability go hand in hand, ensuring you're not only cutting down costs but also your carbon footprint.

4. Embrace Natural Ventilation

Leverage the cool, early morning and late evening breezes that grace the Eastside. Opening windows to create cross-ventilation, or adding window fans, can significantly cool your home naturally. The aim is to enjoy our region's fresh air without over-relying on air conditioning.

5. Wise Window Treatments

Opt for light-colored curtains, blinds, or shades to deflect direct sunlight. On the Eastside, where summer sun can transform our homes into greenhouses, reflective window coverings can significantly reduce indoor heat, lessening the need for constant cooling.

6. Thermostat Tactics

With programmable thermostats, set temperature schedules that align with your lifestyle, ensuring efficiency. Maintaining a temperature range of 76-80°F, leaning towards the cooler side of 78°F, is ideal. This small adjustment can offer comfort without the chill of high energy bills.

7. HVAC System Health

Scheduled maintenance is crucial for your HVAC’s efficiency. Here on the Eastside, where summer can swing from tepid to toasty, ensuring your system is in top condition is key. Regular checks and air filter changes can prevent your system from working overtime.

8. Consider Energy-Efficient Windows

If it fits within your budget, energy-efficient windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings are a wise investment. They're particularly adept at keeping Eastside homes cooler in the summer (and warmer in winter), balancing comfort with energy savings.

9. Ceiling Fan Dynamics

A supplement to your air conditioning, ceiling fans enhance air circulation, making rooms feel cooler without adjusting the thermostat. Ensure they rotate counterclockwise in summer for that gentle, cooling breeze, a simple yet effective strategy for any Eastside home.

10. Shade and Landscaping

The verdant nature of the Eastside offers a unique advantage for natural cooling. Plant trees strategically to shield your home from the sun, or consider awnings for immediate relief. This not only enhances your garden's aesthetics but contributes to a cooler home environment.

Adopting these strategies can transform your Eastside home into a model of summer energy efficiency. It’s about smart, sustainable living—keeping cool, comfortable, and environmentally conscious. With a little effort and investment, you can enjoy our beautiful Eastside summers to the fullest, without fearing the energy bill. Beat the heat this season by optimizing your home for energy efficiency.

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