5 Ways to Reduce Your Seattle Heating and Cooling Bills

Women Adjusting Thermostat

We rarely endure harsh winter weather or extreme summer heat in our temperate Washington climate.

Likewise, the heating and cooling in our homes is rarely extreme. We do not have to blast our AC all summer to gain relief from three-digit temperatures or crank up the furnace during a lengthy subzero freeze.

That said, there is plenty of room for reducing heating and cooling costs, even in our mild climate here in Greater Seattle.

Saving Energy and the Environment

At Ballard Natural Gas Service, we enthusiastically support energy-saving strategies that will lower heating and cooling bills and reduce the impact of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems on the environment.

Every penny counts when monitoring your household budget in Seattle. Wasting energy takes money from your pocket through increased heating and cooling costs.

Reducing the energy needed to heat and cool your home is the starting point for lowering those costs, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE says heating and cooling represent 50 to 70 percent of energy use in an average home

5 Heating and Cooling Tips to Save You Money

After more than 30 years in the HVAC industry, we at Ballard Natural Gas Service know which cost-cutting efforts can significantly impact your utility bills. Here are five tips for lowering heating and cooling in your Seattle home. 

  1. Maintain your HVAC equipment
    Regular maintenance restores your HVAC system. It runs more efficiently and lasts longer than a dirty unit with worn parts. We recommend a professional tune-up for furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps every fall and maintenance for AC systems in the spring. Our qualified technicians always clean components, check connections, lubricate moving parts, and inspect for safety hazards during a maintenance checkup.

    A clean air filter goes a long way toward improving HVAC system efficiency. A clogged and dirty filter that reduces airflow forces your heating and cooling unit to work harder and use more energy. You can make filter inspection and replacement a part of your HVAC maintenance regimen. Inspect it monthly and replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

    Leave room for your HVAC unit to “breathe” by moving storage boxes and other items away from your furnace. Prune back shrubs and remove weeds around your heat pump or air conditioner. Clean air vent registers and baseboard heaters, and vacuum nearby furniture and flooring to keep dust at bay. 
  2. Control your thermostat
    Adjust your thermostat according to your daily schedule. When your home is unoccupied, or everyone in the family is asleep, turn the thermostat up during the cooling season or down when running your furnace or heat pump.

    The DOE says you can save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling costs by dialing the thermostat back.

    The department notes that the closer the indoor and outdoor temperatures are, the lower your cooling bill will be.

    Installing a programmable or smart thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature. Ask us at Ballard Natural Gas Service about installing a smart thermostat in your Lynnwood home. We proudly feature the Nest smart thermostat. It quickly learns how to adjust its temperature setting based on your preferences and displays a leaf icon for energy-saving temperatures. 
  3. Seal Leaks
    Drafty windows and doors can be major energy-wasting culprits. Check all windows and doors for cracks and gaps. Use weather stripping, caulk, or foam sealant to close openings.

    Cracks and holes allow conditioned air to escape your home and outdoor air to flow into your home. It makes your HVAC equipment work harder to maintain the temperature set on your thermostat. Working harder means it uses more energy, which causes your heating and cooling costs to rise.

    Air can also escape from ductwork. ENERGY STAR® says leaky ducts can reduce heating and cooling efficiency by up to 20 percent.

    We recommend sealing air duct joints with mastic tape, which you can buy from hardware or home improvement stores. Tape the connection between the duct and wall meet in addition to joints and any cracks. Avoid using duct tape, which has a shorter lifespan.

    Adequate insulation goes hand-in-hand with sealing leaks to prevent air loss in your home. A professional insulation installer can assess your home and recommend the kind of product and amount needed.

    Call us at Ballard Natural Gas Service to insulate your air ducts. Along with proper sealing, insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs. 
  4. Use Shades and Fans
    Wise use of fans, shades, and blinds allows you to choose an energy-saving temperature in your home without compromising comfort. 
  • Open blinds and curtains during the day to let sunlight in. During the winter, sunlight will heat your home and enable you to adjust the thermostat downward. 
  • During the summer, block direct sunlight by closing blinds or shades, especially on south-facing windows. 
  • Consider applying a temperature-control window film on south-facing windows that will block ultraviolet (UV) rays and solar heat. 
  • Install a ceiling fan to circulate air. Run the fan counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter. You will feel a chilly draft of air during summer.  In the winter, the fan will push warm air from the ceiling downward. 

5. Upgrade Your HVAC
If your HVAC system is close to the end of its useful service life or needs frequent repair, consider replacing it with a high-efficiency unit. Your investment may qualify for a federal tax break available through 2032. You can get a 30 percent credit up to $600 by installing a qualified high-efficiency air conditioner, boiler, or furnace. The maximum allowed for qualified heat pumps is $2,000.

Our pros can recommend a system that will qualify for the tax credit, reduce utility costs, and improve comfort. 

    Choose the Experts

    Trust Ballard Natural Gas Service’s for the best heating and cooling solutions in Seattle, WA. Call us today at 206.784.8101 or request service online. 

    Need HVAC Service?

    Contact the experts at Ballard Natural Gas.

    Call us at 206-784-8101!