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Spokane, Wash., January 6// -- This week's cold winter weather may tempt customers to reach for the thermostat to stay warm, but that action can result in a higher energy bill.
One of the best ways to lower winter energy costs is to lower the furnace thermostat. Avista suggests that customers set the thermostat at 68 degrees or lower during the day, health permitting. At night for sleeping, add an extra blanket for warmth and set the thermostat at the lowest acceptable setting.
An excellent tool in managing heating costs is an automatic setback or programmable thermostat, which can adjust temperature settings up to several times per day according to a preset schedule. It also helps with the temptation to manually adjust the thermostat.
Other no-cost and low-cost tips for keeping energy costs down during the winter include:
. Restrict the use of your wood fireplace in extremely cold weather. Fireplaces can rob your home of heat provided by your heating system and reduce your comfort.
. Make sure exterior door sweeps are in good repair and correctly installed. If not, roll a towel and it at the base of the door until you correct the problem.
. If you have a ceiling fan, reverse the motor in order to disperse the warm air collecting near the ceiling.
. Turn off kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans when you are done. In one hour, these fans can pull a house full of warm air right out of the home.
. Limit the use of portable electric heaters. They are high wattage appliances and the energy they use will add up.
. Don't block heating registers, move furniture to allow heat to flow freely, and make sure all return air openings are unobstructed.
. Open drapes and shades during the day to let in the sun, especially south facing exposures. Close them at night to keep out the cold.
. Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees. This can help save money without sacrificing comfort since water-heating is a typical family's third-largest energy expense.
. Install water-flow restrictors in showerheads and faucets.
. Window air conditioners are conduits for cold air. When possible, the unit should be removed, cleaned and put into winter storage.
For suggestions on long-term energy-efficiency improvements and for information on rebates offered to Avista customers, visit www.avistautilities.com.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 325,000 electric and 300,000 natural gas customers in four western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.
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