Heat Wave: Tips From Pacific Power To Be Safe, Stay Cool and Use Less Energy

August 01, 2017

Girl in front of fan

PORTLAND, Ore. — With forecasts predicting triple-digit temperatures throughout the Northwest over the coming week, Pacific Power wants to remind customers to stay safe and use these tips to beat the heat, use less energy and save money.

Stay hydrated and watch for others

  • Drink water and stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Use hats and sunscreen.
  • Check on neighbors who you know have few outside contacts. Keep a close eye on children and pets to make sure they have water available and have a place to cool down.

Don't let the sun shine in

  • On hot days, close blinds and drapes, especially in south-facing windows which allow in the most heat.

Open windows in the evening and circulate cool air

  • Open windows in evening and early morning to let in cool air. Be aware, however, of any safety or security issues.
  • Use fans to bring in and circulate cool air. Ceiling and window fans use less electricity than an air conditioner when the compressor is engaged. Running an air conditioner in fan-only mode can also be effective as outside temperatures drop.

Reduce the heat inside

  • Use heat-producing appliances like ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.
  • Grill outside or use a microwave or toaster oven. A toaster oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a regular oven and releases less heat into the home.
  • Turn off heat-generating devices when not in use, including lamps, televisions and computers.

Be air conditioner smart

  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees. This will keep you comfortable and cooling your house below that temperature can increase your air conditioning bill as much as 8 percent.
  • Don't turn off the air conditioner when you're gone; instead set it higher, at 85 degrees. That setting allows your air conditioner to use less electricity to cool the house than if the air conditioning has been off all day, but doesn't shut down altogether.
  • Your air conditioner will operate most efficiently if you trim nearby foliage to allow adequate air flow around the unit.
  • Don't block inside distribution vents with furniture or other objects.

Use community cooling centers

Take advantage of malls, theaters or community cooling centers to stay cool. Here are links to some community cooling centers:

California

Oregon

For more information and tips, visit bewattsmart.com.