PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With temperatures heating up in the Portland metro area, there are ways to limit your bill while trying to cool off.

With the help of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, KOIN 6 News put together a list of ways for those trying to save money during the summer. Below, you will find 10 tips.

Keep AC high

Pacific Power recommends setting your air conditioner at 78 degrees or higher when home.

“Use a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature,” suggested the company.

Track energy use

PGE has a feature for customers to track their energy use throughout the day, week or hour. People can then pinpoint where they use energy and find ways to save.

AC maintenance

If you clean or replace your central air conditional filters monthly, your AC can run more efficiently, said Pacific Power. The company also recommends tuning up your AC when necessary.

Benefits of outdoor air

Once temperatures reach 75 to 80 degrees, PGE recommends closing windows, doors and window coverings to keep cool air in, along with using an outdoor fan. According to the company, using a portable window fan instead of an AC unit at night can save an average home an estimated monthly savings of $32.

“If it’s safe, open windows during cooler nights and mornings (make sure open windows are safe for children), using a fan to draw cool air in,” PGE said.

When to use appliances

To keep indoor heat down in the afternoon, run the dryer and dishwasher at night, said Pacific Power on its website. The company suggests using a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill instead of the oven.

Weatherizing your home

“Make sure your ducts are sealed or insulated, and use weather-stripping or caulking around doors, windows, pipes, and cracks. No matter how efficient your heating and cooling system, you’ll waste energy and your home will feel drafty if it isn’t weatherized,” noted PGE.

Water heater and more

Pacific Power highlights the importance of setting your water heater at 120 degrees along with using efficient showerheads to save energy and money.

Thermostat settings

You should set central air thermostats to 76 degrees, instead of 70 degrees, said PGE. According to the company, this can result in an estimated monthly difference of about $13.

Portland General Electric says to avoid putting lamps or TVs that emit heat near the thermostat.

“Make sure the thermostat is accurate. Walk through the house with an instant-read cooking thermometer to see if the air temperature matches the setting,” added the company. “Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat can help save costs season after season.”

Wash temperatures

When washing clothes, use cold water and clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use, said Pacific Power.


According to PGE, limit the use of incandescent lighting and consider switching to cooler LEDs. They last longer and use up to 85% less energy.