Lisa Explains: Ways to keep cool indoors

During the summer months, my old 1910 house really starts to heat up, especially in the afternoons, when the sun beats down on my roof. When this happens, I turn to Avista’s website to look for tips to stay cool while being energy efficient.

This page has a lot of great information,, including how to program your thermostat during the summer months, how to use fans to stay cool (rather than cranking the air conditioner), and how to ventilate your home.

If you have a cooling system, set your thermostat as high as you can, while still feeling comfortable. In the summer, an adjustment of just three degrees higher can result in 10% of energy savings. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it according to your schedule, so when you come home you will be nice and cool, while not using a lot of energy cooling an empty home when you are gone.

Think about upgrading to a smart thermostat that has Wi-Fi connectivity and an app for your smartphone. You can even get a rebate that may pay for the cost of your smart thermostat at You should also think about hiring a service to check your heating and cooling system before each season to make sure it is running smoothly. You can use Avista’s Find a Contractor tool to find a licensed HVAC contractor in your area.

I rely on a lot of fans in the summer. I have a ceiling fan and I make sure that the blades are turning counterclockwise in the summer to force the air down. Fans don’t cool the air but will circulate the air to cool you. A fan uses about 1% of the energy that an air conditioner does. To save energy, be sure to turn off the fans when the rooms aren’t occupied.

I also like to open windows upstairs at night, when outside temperatures drop, to let cool air in and hot air out. I use a fan to keep the air circulating through the room.

Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient.  Over the last two years, Lisa shared her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others. Now, she’s highlighting helpful information you can find on the Avista website.

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  1. Lisa Explains