Managing your energy use during warm weather - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Managing your energy use during warm weather

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SPOKANE, Wash. - With continued hot weather in the forecast, Avista wants to remind you that the heat is especially difficult for the elderly and those who have health problems.

Please take a few minutes to check on your family members, neighbors and friends to make sure they are staying cool during these very warm days. Using a fan and keeping windows covered during the day can help keep the home cooler. If possible, open the windows at night to bring in the cool night air.

Here are some other tips to help manage your energy use during this warm weather:

In the Kitchen

  • Run only a full dishwasher and use your dishwasher's automatic energy-savings cool-dry cycle. If your dishwasher doesn't have this feature, turn it off after the final rinse and let the dishes air dry. Doing this can reduce dishwasher energy usage by 40 percent.
  • Vacuum your refrigerator's coils, located on the back or underneath your appliance. Regular cleaning can improve your refrigerator's efficiency by 3 to 6 percent, saving between $6 and $14 a year in energy costs.
  • Use your microwave or small appliances instead of the oven or cook top. Not only do the small appliances cost less to operate, but you will reduce cooking heat in the kitchen which can cause an air conditioning system to turn on and drive up energy costs.

In the Laundry Room

  • Wash your laundry in cold water when possible. In top-load models, about 90 percent of the cost per load is to heat the water.
  • Do laundry after 7:00 p.m. to reduce unwanted heat and humidity in your home or dry clothes outside on a line to save energy and avoid the heat a dryer generates.
  • Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load to improve air circulation.

Around the House

  • Reduce the temperature setting on your electric hot water heater to 120° F.
  • Use heat producing appliances - dishwashers, ovens, ranges, dryers - after 7 p.m.
  • Look for ENERGY STARâ certified ceiling fans that can do a better job moving air up to 20 percent more efficiently than conventional models. In summer, ceiling fan blades should be set to force the air down at you, which in most cases is a counter-clockwise direction.

  

To Keep Cool Inside

  • Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting, 78° F or higher, if possible. Each degree over 70° F can save approximately 3 percent on your cooling bill.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to adjust temperature settings several times per day on a preset schedule.
  • Close shades, blinds or draperies on unshaded glass areas to reduce heat gain by as much as 50 percent.
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