Ways to Save While Using Air Conditioning

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, July 11 2012 at 6:15 PM, Updated: Wed, July 11 2012 at 6:44 PM

High heat means people are blasting their air conditioners, if they have them, to cool off.

"It's been running probably four days straight," laughed Medford resident Sean Gardner.

"I don't deal with the heat very well," he continued.

Many others are also turning on the A/C to deal with the heat, but it's not cheap.

"We get pretty high electric bills," said Gardner.

Over at Pacific Power, Monte Mendenhall the company's Regional Community Manager said the summer months are the highest of the year for energy usage.

The heatwave hitting the nation has strained many power grids, but here in the Rogue Valley Mendenhall said they're not having any problems keeping up with demand.

"We have enough resources to manage the load," said Mendenhall.

The company draws much of their power from resources like coal, hydro power and wind power.

While Pacific Power isn't worried about it, you might be concerned when your bill arrives in the mail. Here are a few money-saving tips:

- Close your drapes or blinds at the hottest point in the day

- Switch the thermostat to 78-degrees or higher when you're home.

- Plant a deciduous tree on the south side of your house. It can reduce cooling needs by 20%

- Open your windows during the early morning or evening when it's cool. However, remember to always be aware make sure you keep yourself safe from possible intruders.

If you do all that, you could save $30-$40 each month and increase the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.

However, Sean Gardner said he's found another way to save money...by jumping into a new giant family pool. It's something he hopes will be cheaper than turning on his A/C.

For a longterm solution a good idea may be investing in weatherproofing your house with up-to-date insulation.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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