News Releases

Stay Cool and Comfortable While Being Energy Efficient: Hot Summer Temperatures Arrive in Northern Nevada

Jun 2, 2004

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist
Phone: (702) 834-3891

For Immediate Release

Northern Nevada residents can stay cool and comfortable this summer without spending a lot on electricity, according to the energy efficiency experts at Sierra Pacific Power Company.

"The most important thing to do to save money on your cooling bill is to move the thermostat on your air conditioner to a higher setting,"said Larry Rackley, project manager with the energy conservation department at Sierra Pacific."When you're not home, turn the setting to 80 degrees, and keep it no lower than 78 degrees when you are home."

To ensure their air conditioning is operating efficiently, Rackley said homeowners should make sure the condenser coils for the air conditioning unit are free of debris, such as leaves, which may have accumulated over the winter, and he said it's a good idea to replace the air conditioner filters at the start of the cooling season.

Also, he said homeowners should install programmable thermostats to automatically adjust the temperature settings on their air conditioning units. While a busy homeowner might forget to turn up the temperature before leaving for work in the morning, a programmable thermostat won't.

Many northern Nevada residents cool their homes with evaporative or"swamp"coolers with large fans that pull outside air through water-wetted pads and blow the water- cooled air into the house through a window or vent. Rackley said people with evaporative coolers can reduce their cooling costs with programmable thermostats or by installing an inexpensive appliance timer to turn the cooler on and off at appropriate times. At the start of the cooling season, homeowners should check the pads on the cooler to make sure they are clean, and worn out pads should be replaced.

Among the other tips offered by Rackley to help residential electric customers stay cool and comfortable while keeping their electric bills in check:

  • Install ceiling fans in bedrooms and family rooms. They're very effective and cost much less to operate than air conditioners.
  • Open windows in the early morning to catch the cool morning air. Close them and close curtains or blinds to block out the mid-day heat, especially on windows that face south or west.
  • Close cooling vents and turn off window air conditioners in unused rooms and keep doors to unused rooms closed.
More Tips on Sierra Pacific Website
For more information on how to reduce summer cooling bills,visit Sierra Pacific's energy conservation website.

The website offers a free, Internet-based, do-it-yourself energy audit feature called the Home Energy Saver.