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Five ways to protect yourself from the heat
by Oregon State Media, Inc.
  Saturday June 4, 2016 - 2:49 PM
 
Five ways to beat the heat Tips from Pacific Power to be safe, stay cool and use less energy

PORTLAND, Ore. --With forecasts predicting triple-digit temperatures throughout the Northwest over the coming weekend, 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 some place to cool down after bouts of fun in the sun.

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 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. Use a programmable or smart thermostat; set it to start bringing your home's temperature from 85 degrees down to 78 degrees no more than 30 minutes before you get home. Replace air conditioner filters once a month. The dirtier your filter, the less efficient it is. Lamps, televisions or any other appliance that creates heat needs to be kept away from the thermostat; they will impact its accuracy. 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.

For more information and tips, visit bewattsmart.com.

About Pacific Power Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 740,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. The company works to meet growing energy demand while protecting and enhancing the environment. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with almost 1.8 million customers in six western states Information about Pacific Power is available on the company's website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages.