When it heats up, keep your wallet cool

It's going to be Hot Hot Hot later this week

With the temperature hitting triple digits in the Portland area later this week, people are figuring out ways to keep cool, June 23, 2015. (KOIN)
With the temperature hitting triple digits in the Portland area later this week, people are figuring out ways to keep cool, June 23, 2015. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With temperatures expected to reach the triple digits in the Portland area later this week, many are finding ways to beat the heat. But you can also do a few things to keep your wallet cool.

A fan (KOIN 6 News, file)
A fan (KOIN 6 News, file)

On its website, PGE said people should keep their thermostat at 78 while at home, and at 85 when you’re gone. People who are older or frail should find a cool and comfortable level.

They also advise keeping water bottles in the refrigerator, switching off lights, avoiding using appliances in the heat of the day, and using your microwave instead of your stove.

“Don’t run major appliances like your oven or stove, those tend to generate heat, tend to warm your home,” PGE spokesperson Steve Corson said. “If you don’t have air conditioning it makes it hotter for you, or if you do have air conditioning it will make it work harder.”

You should keep lamps and TVs away from air conditioning units, as the heat from them may make the AC run longer and harder. You can also clean the coil in your AC unit to help it run efficiently.

Use a fan if you can, but you can save money by running them only in rooms where there are people. Fans work by pulling perspiration away from your body to help you feel cooler.

If you have a pool, run the pump during off-peak hours.

According to Corson, there are plenty of low-cost or no-cost efforts to keep your house cool and your wallet from hurting. Among them: drawing the shades or drapes on the sunny side of the house, keep the windows closed during the heat of the day and open them at night.

As a company, he said, PGE’s job is to “anticipate how much power our customers are going to need and make sure we’ve got it, whether it’s our own power plant or power we buy off the wholesale market through the electric grid.”

The other thing to keep in mind, Corson said, is that this intense heatwave is likely a 3 or 4 day event.

“It can have a noticeable impact on your bill but it’s not going to be a huge difference,” he said.

Corson suggested some longer term measures — like putting weather stripping around your doors and windows — to save energy in your home that comes with incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon.

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Multnomah County has not yet finalized their list of cooling centers, but likely will open a few later this week.

Cooling Centers in Clackamas County (information from the county)

Canby Adult Center
1250 S. Ivy St, Canby 97013
503-266-2970
Open to the public Monday-Friday during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Clackamas Service Center
8800 SE 80th Ave., Portland 97206
503-771-7914
Open to the public on Friday from 2-7 p.m., Saturday from 4:30-9:30 p.m., and Sunday from 3-5:30 p.m. Meals and other services available.

Damascus Community Church
14251 SE Rust Way, Damascus 97089
503-658-3179
Open to the public Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. when temperatures reach 90 degrees, and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lake Oswego Adult Community Center
505 G Ave., Lake Oswego 97034
503-635-3758
Open to the public Wednesday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Please call for updates as hours change depending on events.

My Father’s Heart Street Ministry
603 12th St., Oregon City 97045
503-722-9780
Open to the public on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please call for weekend hours.

Sandy Senior Center
38348 Pioneer Blvd., Sandy 97055
503-668-5569
Open to the public Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wilsonville Public Library Cooling Center
8200 SW Wilsonville Road, Wilsonville 97070
503-682-2744
Open normal business hours. The library will stay open until 9 p.m. if temperatures reach 100 degrees.

Winfield Village
8170 SW Vlahos Drive, Wilsonville 97070
503-682-0653
The Fireside Room is open to the general public seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. when temperatures reach 90 degrees. Water is available.

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