By Lina Younes
Just this week I received my home electric bill. When I saw the envelope I cringed because I feared the worst! Why, you may ask? Well, the reality is that this summer has been unusually hot in the greater Washington metropolitan area. In fact, during the month of July we had a full week of sweltering temperatures hovering around the triple digits!
So imagine my surprise when I opened my electric bill and saw that we had actually consumed less electricity than the same period last year! What had we done differently? We already had Energy Star appliances throughout our home. We already had Energy Star certified windows, a programmable thermostat, and energy efficient lighting. So, it had to be something else.
After doing a mental review of the situation, I only came up with two actions that must have had a positive impact on our energy efficiency. First we had done a major cleaning of air filters and air ducts throughout the house which obviously improved the overall performance of our air conditioning system. Furthermore, we were using more electric fans in the rooms where we spent the most time. This allowed us to actually increase the temperature of our thermostat while we were at home and still feel comfortable. Bottom line, we saved energy and money without sacrificing personal comfort.
So, simple actions can make a difference and why not start at home? Have you taken any steps to improve your energy efficiently? We look forward to hearing from you.
About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.