During extreme heat waves, we turn up the A/C or supplement our cooling with fans – both of which result in increased energy use. We may also be inclined to spend more time indoors. That can mean more lights, more TV, more electronics use, and therefore even higher electric power consumption.
Customers may keep their home thermostat set at 78° F throughout the summer, but A/C units will run more frequently to maintain that temperature in extreme weather than they do in milder weather. A single degree of difference outside can alter cooling costs by three percent or more.
It’s common to gauge the temperature of the day by the highs and lows. But when it comes to heating and cooling, it’s not just the peaks and valleys that impact energy use — it’s also the length of the extremes. For instance, a summer day may hit 100° F but drop into the 60s and 70s during the night. This gives your A/C a break and allows your home to cool naturally. When temperatures remain high through the night or for several days, A/C units run longer and homes don’t have a chance to cool.
A well-sealed home with adequate insulation is the best year-round defense against the weather and higher-than-necessary bills. Here are a few additional ways to keep cool:
- Close your blinds, especially on the east and west, to block out the warming rays of the sun.
- Use fans instead of lowering the A/C temperature to maintain comfort in occupied rooms.
- When temperatures drop (and it’s safe), open windows to cool your home naturally.
- Minimize the use of indoor, heat-producing appliances like the oven and clothes dryer — use a clothes drying rack and outdoor grill.
- Register for myAccount to monitor your energy use and make energy-saving changes.
- Sign up for your free energy-saving kit to help manage your household energy use, at idahopower.com/save2day.
For more energy-saving tips, and to learn about our energy efficiency programs and rebates, visit idahopower.com/save.