Monday, July 7 2014, 09:16 PM CDT
Residents Find it Difficult to Stay Cool as Temperatures Rise
By Aaron Nilsson/KTVL.comMEDFORD, Ore. -- The heat is on this week and for many residents it's expensive and difficult to stay cool.
Residents are trying to stay cool during the triple-digit temperatures, but they said they must pay with sweat because they don't have enough dollars.
Temperatures are rising in the Rogue Valley, but energy educators at Access in Medford gave several tips to help keep you from feeling the heat, without throwing money out the window.
They said the main thing anyone can do to save money in the summer is turn up their air conditioning just enough to be comfortable.James Raison with Access recommends about 78 degrees.
"I know that's hot for some people. The more you turn it up, the less it'll cost you. You can use fans to supplement the AC to help bring your body temp down," Raison said.
That can reduce an electric bill by two percent for every degree raised on the thermostat.
One resident who receives help from Access for her bill said she opens her windows at night and closes them by seven a.m.
She also uses thick drapes for her west-facing windows, exactly what Raison suggests.
"Blocking the sun is key. Keep it out of the house. It’s great in the winter to heat the house for free, but keep it out in the summer," Raison said.
Energy Assistance Coordinator at Access, Kate Rodriguez, said there is a significant drop in the number of people getting help from Access in the winter to the summer.
"We have a big decrease in people calling around April. A big shift, we have a couple hundred calling per day in the winter, but maybe only 50 per day in the summer. It doesn't mean the need isn't out there" Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez also said some residents may qualify for assistance with their energy bills from Access and may not be aware of it.
"We do have funds available for anyone who hasn't received anything generally since October 2013 and you don’t need to in threat of being disconnected," Rodriguez said.
Access also offers free classes open to the public every month on how to save more energy in your home.
Access said they are popular and help people exchange other tips with each other on how to save energy and stay cool.