Heat waves don't wait for summer.

You're likely cranking up the AC in your house right now, like much of New Jersey.

But you don't have to waste money doing it. There are ways to stay cool and save some cash at the same time.

“New Jersey residents have always stepped up in a big way during heat waves, but with the hot temperatures here now in the earliest part of summer, the ability to stay cool and comfortable is paramount for their health and safety,” said Richard Henning, president of the New Jersey Utilities Association. “You can count on our utilities to do their part in the coming days and help the state meet this challenge.”

The tips below may come in handy, as daytime temperatures are expected to hit the 90s through the rest of the week.

Block the sun


Close the blinds or drapes in your home, and that may limit how much work your air conditioning unit has to do.

"You'd be surprised how much the sun coming in through the windows can heat up a room," Rebecca Mazzarella, spokesperson for PSE&G, told New Jersey 101.5.

Use fans

Retro Ceiling Fan

Fans circulate air, creating a windchill effect, NJUA says. They can be positioned to draw in cooler air or get rid of hot air.

Plus, they're more cost efficient than AC units.

Tweak the thermostat


I know — many people have their "number," but raising the thermostat can significantly reduce energy consumption.

You may love to set the thermostat to 69 during summer, but would 71 really make conditions unbearable for you?

According to Mazzarella, when it's at least 90 degrees outside, your AC unit (considering it's the right size and your home is properly insulated) is working extra hard just to get the temperature indoors to 75 degrees.

Also, NJUA suggests considering a "smart" thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature based on weather conditions and your daily routine.

Smarter cooking


A preheated oven can impact the temperature indoors.

During a heat wave, you can try to rely less on the oven and more on a slow-cooker or microwave.

Cool when necessary

Covered porch and front door of beautiful new home

"Don't cool an empty house," Mazzarella said.

Turn up the thermostat when you're headed out of the house.

"And don't cool unused rooms or rooms you're not going to be in," Mazzarella said. "You can close those doors and close those vents."

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