Save energy, with money to burn
Regional weather forecasters estimate that the Northwest will likely experience a colder, wetter winter this year compared to last year. To prepare for the cold season, following are some energy savings tips from the Bonneville Power Administration:
For a complete booklet of more than 70 energy savings tips, call the Bonneville Power Administration toll-free at 1-800-622-4519.
- Pay attention to your thermostat. A few degrees can make more of a difference in your heating bill than it can in your comfort level. The best range: between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep drapes and blinds closed since they add an extra layer of insulation. (Note: Turn louvers down toward the ground outside. This diverts rising heat back into the room instead of trapping it between the blinds and the window.)
- Enter and exit your home quickly. Every time an exterior door is opened, warm air escapes and cold air replaces it.
- Circulate heated air. Since warm air rises, it tends to get trapped in the highest areas of your home. A ceiling fan or portable fan operating at a low speed can distribute warm air more evenly (and reduces that urge to crank up the thermostat).
- Turn off unnecessary lighting. If you're not in the room, you don't need the light. (Note: Fluorescent lights are a different story. Turn them off only if you'll be leaving a room for more than 15 minutes. The reason? It prolongs the life of the fixtures.)