PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
Air conditioning units were a hot commodity around Portland Thursday as temperatures soared into the triple digits.
Standard TV and Appliance in Beaverton only had about 50 air conditioning units left, and managers expected they'd soon be sold out.
"By this time tomorrow night, they'll be gone," said salesperson Joe Mosee.
Mosee said the store's three locations started the season with more than 1,000 units, but were down to less than 100 Thursday.
They range in price from about $130 to more than $400, but it was well worth the price for some customers trying to beat the heat.
"We can't stop picking up the phone," said Mosee.
Portland General Electric provided the following tips to stay cool in the heat:
- When cooling the whole house with an AC, be sure to keep all windows and doors closed and close curtains or shades on sun-facing windows. When cooling a single room with a window AC, be sure to close all windows and doors in that room to keep the unit running more efficiently. Dress coolly: shorts, short sleeves, sandals (no socks), etc.
- If you use central AC, setting the central air thermostat to 75 degrees (instead of 70 degrees) results in an estimated energy savings of 115 kilowatt-hours (kwh) per month and an estimated monthly savings of $11.
- Bigger doesn't necessarily mean cooler when it comes to room air conditioners. In fact, a unit that is too large for the room operates less efficiently than one that is properly sized.
- Don't switch a window unit off and on. The units work best when left to run for long periods.
- Don't keep the unit running at the coldest setting. Set the thermostat as high as is comfortable.
- Avoid cooking with a stove or conventional oven while using AC, as heat from these appliances reduces the ability of the unit to cool your house; instead use a microwave or barbecue outdoors.
- Don't put lamps or TVs that emit heat near the air conditioner thermostat. Limit use of incandescent lighting and consider switching to compact fluorescents or LEDs.
- Use interior fans to circulate cooled air more effectively through the house.
- Clean or change furnace/air conditioner filter every three months.
- Seal leaks in heating/air conditioning ducts (insulate ducts where necessary).
- Consider turning AC off when it's cooler outside overnight and running a portable window fan instead; for an average home with air conditioning, this results in an estimated energy savings of 335 kwh per month and an estimated monthly savings of $32.
While AC units can keep homes cool, they use additional electricity, increasing energy bills and sometimes putting extra stress on household circuits. Fortunately, there are also ways to reduce the cost of keeping cool as temperatures rise or staying cool without the aid of an air conditioner.
Customers can stay cool and trim summer electricity use by following these easy tips:
- Open windows when it's cooler outside at night and early in the morning (upper stories are the safest, but make certain they're secure if there are children in the house). Monitor outside temperatures; when it's warming up and approaching 75 to 80 degrees, close windows and doors and use an indoor fan (portable or ceiling).
- Close curtains on sun-facing windows. Awnings help shade windows that face the sun, too. Use white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
- Limit use of incandescent lighting and major appliances that generate heat like conventional ovens, stovetops and clothes dryers. Run them in the evening hours or early morning when it's cooler outside.
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