BOISE-- Summer means the numbers on thermometers are getting higher and higher. For many, this also means the numbers on power bills are getting higher. This doesn't have to be the case. Idaho Power's energy efficiency expert has a few tips that could help you save money without sacrificing a cool home.
It's not just the sun that can heat up your home. Theresa Drake, Idaho Power's energy efficiency expert, says heating your home up from the inside can happen through everyday tasks.
Things like cooking and using a dryer produce extra heat inside a house. Using items like these heat the house on the inside, making the air conditioning compensate by using more electricity to cool the home back down.
While fans don't change air temperature like air conditioning does, they can still help you feel cooler. When a fan is on, you can bump the thermostat up by about four degrees without changing your comfort level. Drake says if you do this and then turn the fan off when you leave the room, it could save you 12 percent on cooling costs.
If you can, use an outside grill instead of inside cooking appliances. Using ovens and other heat-producing appliances inside your home on hot days increases the time the air conditioning will run. If cooking outside is not an option, use a pan on a stove-top burner instead of using the oven.
Dishwashers can also add to your cooling bill. Instead of having your dishwasher set to the heat dry, air dry them. Most dishwashers have a button that can set clean dishes to air dry.
Drake also lists big savings associated with LED light bulbs in comparison to incandescent. This is especially true in the summer because only about 10 percent of the energy used by incandescent bulbs produces light. Most of the energy is actually used to produce heat. Having those lights on will make your house have to work harder to keep you cool.
For more ways to save on electricity costs this summer, visit Idaho Power's website.