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Jan Rise knows there are simple things people can do to save energy — and money — on utility bills during the summer.

Rise is the administrative services director for the Fremont Department of Utilities.

Recently, the city sent a newsletter with energy-saving tips along with bills to utilities customers.

Rise believes one of the best energy tips involves fans.

It’s more cost effective to turn up the thermostat and use a ceiling fan in a room.

“You can raise the temperature and still be comfortable, because the fan keeps the air moving,” she said.

A tip listed in the newsletter states that residents may raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit with no reduction in comfort with use of a ceiling fan.

But the tip also reminds people to shut the fan off when they leave the room.

Rise said it’s OK to sleep with the fan running at night, but when people leave for work, they should shut it off.

Some people leave fans running on a covered deck, but again, if no one is present, it’s not beneficial.

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Recommendations include setting your thermostat as high as comfortably possible.

Residents can keep their homes warmer than normal when away and put the thermostat setting at 78 degrees Fahrenheit only when at home. The tips note that lowering the thermostat at a colder setting than normal will not cool a home any faster.

To save energy, residents should wash only full loads of dishes and clothing. They should consider air drying both dishes and clothing.

Rise also recommends doing laundry in the evening, which can help keep the house a little cooler as well.

“Particularly running dryers during the heat of the day — that can raise the temperature in your home as well,” she said.

Many people have their washer and dryer on the main floor of their house. Closing a door to the laundry room can keep the heat in one area.

Some folks fall asleep while watching television, but Rise said many TVs can be programmed to go into a sleep mode after a certain number of hours.

Other energy-saving tips include:

  • Don’t heat your home with appliances and lighting. On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven or grill outside.
  • Schedule regular professional maintenance for your cooling equipment. In addition, change filters once a month or as needed and keep the vents clean to increase efficiency.
  • Set the temperature of your water heater to a warm setting (120 degrees Fahrenheit). Heating water may account for more than 15 percent of the energy consumed in your home.
  • Switch to LED light bulbs. About 85% to 90% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results into heat, not light. Traditional incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat, wasting energy and making your cooling system work that much harder. High efficiency LED bulbs are cool to the touch and give your air conditioner a little relief.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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