Beat the heat wave: Tips to keep your bill low & stay cool

Associated Press

AP file photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With highs approaching 100 degrees this weekend in Northeast Florida, chances are you'll be looking for ways to stay cool.

As of Friday evening, there were only a few power outages in the area, and none of them appeared to be due to the heat. But power outages can become more than an inconvenience when temperatures head into the 90s.

POWER OUTAGES MAPS: JEA | Clay Electric | Florida Power & Light

Heat waves can trigger these outages because of an increased usage of air conditioners, which can overload the power grild. Gina Kyle, a spokesperson for JEA, said the utility is ready for the hotter temperatures.

"JEA isn't anticipating any heat-related outages for consumers," Kyle said. "We constantly monitor the system and anticipate forecasts to ensure we have enough power to handle the shifts in weather."

When the weather gets hot, Kyle said, the natural inclination is to crank up the A/C. The large shifts in thermostat settings can result in a larger bill.

"Instead, turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees and run a fan to help make up the difference. Be sure to turn it off before leaving the room," she said. "Remember, fans cool people, not rooms."

Some other ways JEA says you can save money and stay cool:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when at home and 85 degrees when away. People with pets should not turn the thermostat above 80 degrees.
  • Clean or replace A/C filters regularly to maximize efficiency
  • Avoid going in and out of your home repeatedly, to keep cool air in and hot air out
  • Use blinds, drapes, shutters or window film to prevent heat gain
  • Clean the area around the outdoor A/C unit and keep it shaded if possible

For a full list of ways to save this summer, head to JEA's website.

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