PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There are many ways to pinch your pennies this weekend when it gets hot.

Portland General Electric Spokesman Steve Corson says with hot temperatures, many people run to a store and grab an air conditioner without knowing which best suites their home and needs.

The best thing to do is measure the room you want to cool and then get an air conditioner that works for that specific room.

“If your air conditioner is too big than it’s inefficient. You’ll be using more power than you need to cool the room. If it’s too small it’ll have to work too hard to cool the space,” Corson says.

It is also important to check the rating on the unit. “If it can be an energy star piece of equipment that’s a really good thing to look for,” Corson says.

Once the air conditioner is installed, it needs to be set at the right temperature. PGE recommends setting it at 75 degrees and then shutting all the doors to other rooms you’re not cooling.

If the power goes out, being prepared with a generator can help. However, generators are not always easy to use.

“Don’t plug it into the wall with the idea that you’re going to just power your whole house, because that creates a danger of fire for you and it could destroy your whole electrical system,” Corson cautions.

He recommends plugging it into an approved extension cord.

Make sure to read the directions on every item purchased.