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Spokane, Wash., July 29// -- Hot summer temperatures may make you want to turn the air conditioner thermostat to a cooler temperature, but setting it higher could save you money on your monthly energy bill. Each degree over 70 degrees that you set your air conditioner thermostat can save approximately three percent on your summer cooling bill.
Other ways Avista suggests to stay cool while managing your energy bill include:
. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, or at the highest comfortable setting.
. Keep drapes or furniture clear from air conditioner vents or window unit flows.
. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible to keep out heat.
. Close shades, blinds or draperies in unshaded glass areas of your home, reducing the heat gain through windows by as much as 50 percent.
. Use major heat-producing appliances during the cooler hours of the day, in the morning or at night. Air conditioners become less efficient when the outdoor temperature is high. If you must use the oven, use the window or rely on your own thermostat and timer rather than opening the oven door to check on food. Each time you open the oven door, you can lose up to 20 percent of the oven's heat into the kitchen.
. Use ceiling fans to circulate air in your home. Moving air that is lower than your body temperature, helps you feel cooler.
. Use the microwave whenever possible instead of the oven or range.
Longer-term ways to save on your summer energy bill include:
. Check your attic for adequate ventilation. Excess heat builds up in the attic and makes your cooling system work harder than necessary. A thermostatically-controlled attic exhaust fan can lower the attic temperature in the summer by as much as 50 percent.
. While you're in the attic, check for adequate insulation. The same insulation that can lower your winter heating bills will make your home more comfortable in the summer.
. Check the seasonal energy efficient ratio (SEER) when purchasing a room air conditioner. Most units are tagged with the SEER or the dealer can help you determine the information. The higher the SEER, the better. A SEER of 12 or above is exceptional.
. An evaporative or "swamp" cooler uses much less power than a room air conditioner.
. Check caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors. If you see cracks, light or feel a draft, make repairs where needed.
. Have a qualified serviceman check out your air conditioner at the beginning of the cooling season to ensure efficient operation.
For other conservation information and energy saving tips, visit Avista Utilities at 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 330,000 electric and 285,000 natural gas customers in three 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.
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