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Stay safe, cool and avoid going broke during the current heat wave

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How much total do you plan to tip the building staff this year?

By now, you probably know that we're in for 90-plus degree weather over the next few days. So what better time to revisit our heat wave-specific advice?

A/C safety:  An air-conditioning unit is safest if given an entire outlet to itself, according to the Department of Energy's guidelines.  So if you're planning to add a power strip or an extension cord to a room, do it on a different outlet than the one that controls your A/C to avoid a power surge. 

Keeping costs in check: There are several tricks to save you from a shocking Con Ed bill: Try to keep your A/C at 78 degrees. Every degree colder will cost 6 percent more on your energy bill. Also, check out the CoolNYC to see how you can control your A/C units from afar and turn them on right before you come home, rather than keep them on all day while you're not there.

Avoiding a moldy situation: If you happen to have PTAC units (those combination heater/air-conditioner units), make sure they've been cleaned recently, as they tend to attract mold.

If your A/C dies and you need a new one: Go with name brands that offer warranties, and buy from a store with a good service team. Many of the top brands offer a wide range of prices. Also, prepare to pay your super or porter about $75 bucks to install your new A/C (it's your responsibility to install it/have it installed, not the building's).  And we suggest you read over these installation tips before you — or any one else — does it (yes, you need brackets, and yes, you need to seal the area around the a/c unit).

Related:

Read this before you install your A/C this weekend

It's A/C season: what you need to know to chill out