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MidAmerican Energy News

10 Tips to Help You Save on Summer Cooling Costs

DES MOINES, Iowa – (June 9, 2015) – With the thermometer expected to top 90 degrees this week, air conditioners will be working longer and harder to deal with the heat and humidity. This summer, don’t let your cooling bills soar along with the temperatures. MidAmerican Energy Company offers customers 10 tips to beat the heat while making their homes and small businesses more energy efficient:

1. Get it online: You can complete a free home energy assessment online at www.midamericanenergy.com/homeaudit. Find out where your home uses the most energy, and what you can do to reduce your consumption. If your home was built before January 1, 2005 and MidAmerican Energy provides your primary heating fuel, you may want to have one of our energy experts conduct a free in-home assessment. Call 800-545-0762 to schedule a HomeCheck visit.

2. Roll it out: Make sure your home has adequate insulation in the attic, exterior walls, floors, basement and crawl spaces. For customers who qualify, MidAmerican Energy offers rebates to help cover much of the cost of adding insulation.

3. Set it smart: Keep your thermostat set at 78 degrees or higher during the summer to save on your energy bill. A programmable thermostat that raises the setting 5 or more degrees when you’re away and 3 or 4 degrees when you’re asleep allows you to save even more.

4. Keep it up: Have your cooling system serviced once a year to keep it operating efficiently. Change your air filters regularly – dirty filters make your system work harder than necessary, which requires more energy.

5. Buy it right: Install ENERGY STAR® lighting and appliances in your home. ENERGY STAR light bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. New ENERGY STAR-rated refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and room air conditioners use less energy than older models, plus you might qualify for rebates on your purchase.

6. Keep out shine: Close draperies, shades and blinds on hot, sunny days to keep the interior of your house cooler.

7. Keep it clear: Make sure air registers aren’t blocked by furniture, rugs, draperies or other objects. Dust or vacuum your registers on a regular basis. You can also use portable fans or ceiling fans to increase the movement of cool air in your home. Keep grass, weeds and shrubs away from your outdoor air conditioning unit so air can circulate freely around the cooling coils.

8. Turn it off: Some electronics and appliances use energy the entire time they’re plugged in, even when turned off. This wasted power is called phantom load. Consider unplugging these items when not in use to reduce your annual electricity consumption by 4 to 7 percent.

9. Dry it out: Use bath and kitchen exhaust fans to rid your home of humidity from showering and cooking, but remember to turn them off as soon as you finish those activities. Set your refrigerator to the high humidity setting to improve its efficiency.

10. Let it wait: Plan to use heat-generating appliances such as ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers during the cool of the late evening or early morning. Better yet, hang clothes to dry or cook outdoors on the grill and avoid turning on appliances at all.

For more energy-saving tips, visit our website and click on the “Save Energy and Money” tab.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 746,000 customers and natural gas service to 726,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.