Air conditioners across Iowa are getting a workout as an excessive heat warning through Friday.
Iowa’s largest utility provider has issued a “peak alert.” MidAmerican Energy spokesperson Ruth Comer says the alert is posted when high temperatures will place electricity use at or near maximum levels.
“We’re asking our customers to voluntarily reduce their energy consumption between 2 and 7 p.m. That helps all of us manage the peak load better, ensures more reliability, and helps keep costs down in the long run for all of our customers,” Comer said.
One recommendation for reducing electricity use is to set your thermostat at 78 degrees.
“That’s really the optimum level for comfort and energy savings even when temperatures are in the 90s,” Comer said. “You can use an electric fan to cool you. That uses just a fraction of the electricity that your air conditioner would use.” Customers are also urged to check their air conditioner unit itself to make sure it is free of weeds and debris that block air flow to the cooling coils.
Comer says there are a few other steps people can take to conserve energy use during the peak consumption time. “Avoid using heat producing appliances, like your dishwasher, laundry, stove and oven, until after 7 p.m. if you can,” Comer said. “That will help keep your house cooler and keep your energy use down.”
By Karla James