The summer heat is baking Iowa and the weekend forecast calls for high temperatures back in the 90s across much of the state. Rob Hillesland, spokesman for the Iowa Utilities Board, says to save money and electricity, don’t just turn on your air conditioning and let it run non-stop.
Hillesland says using shades and drapes to keep sunlight away from large windows is a good way to keep warm air out of your home, or planting trees that will eventually shade the house. He says for your air conditioner to work properly, keep it shaded, too, and clear of grass and weeds.
Hillesland says it’s important to keep the A-C unit shaded and that any shrubs around it are kept trimmed back. He is also a big fan of fans, which help your air conditioner work better. Hillesland says portable fans and ceiling fans help to increase air circulation and make the air feel cooler to the skin. He says to cut the heat in your house, don’t use the oven, stove or clothes drier — or use them only at certain times of day.
Hillesland says use heat-producing appliances later in the evening or early in the morning as the heat they generate makes it harder for your A-C to cool things down. He says it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the forecast so you know when there will be cooler days that will allow you to turn off the A-C and open some windows.