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Experts weigh in on long-term upgrades to consider to help deal with extreme weather

How to cut cooling costs in the summer heat
How to cut cooling costs in the summer heat 02:10

NEW YORK -- As the Tri-State Area deals with another day of excessive heat, experts say there are ways to plan ahead and make long-term investments to deal with it in the future.

Across the city, air conditioners are on and many are staying home to stay cool. 

"I have two kids who are running around and sweaty," Bay Ridge's Casey Ruben told CBS2's Hannah Kliger on Thursday. 

Chris Petri, operations manager at Petri Plumbing and Heating, says this time of year is always busy for him. 

"We have an influx of those emergency calls," Petri said, explaining that you can avoid the stress by testing your units ahead of time and maintaining them throughout the year. 

Over the long-term, he said there are ways to make your home more efficient, including replacing your windows if you live in an old home.

"Older windows on older homes, they end up losing some cooling, losing some heat," he said.

Your type of air conditioner also matters; Petri says traditional window units are less energy efficient than others on the market, but they're among the most common you'll see in the city. 

"New York is a generally older city, so a lot of these homes were built way before AC was really implemented in homes," he said. "To install a central air system inside an already-built building is a pretty penny to do."

Mini-split systems, however, are a popular alternative. Until this past spring, Con Edison had been offering rebates to help cover the units.

"The program was paused due to its popularity," explained the utility's Jamie McShane. "But there are all sorts of rebates and discounts on our website. There's all sorts things you can do right now, today, to save money on your energy bill."

Besides, Petri says, changing your system is not something you can do tomorrow, because of shortages.

"Some of the more popular brands, they're about 12 weeks out to get the equipment into New York," he added.

McShane said Con Edison is also investing in future projects.

"We're putting in transmission lines in Brooklyn and Queens that are preparing the grid to bring in renewable energy, more solar, more off-shore wind, more hydropower from Canada," McShane said.

Experts say if you're looking to make an upgrade over the long-term, plan ahead. Meanwhile, review Con Edison's cooling tips to save some money on your electric bill.

 Have a story idea or tip in Brooklyn? Email Hannah by CLICKING HERE.

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