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DES MOINES, Iowa – (Jan. 30, 2019) – When winter temperatures are closer to normal, MidAmerican Energy Company urges all of its customers to turn down their thermostats at night to save energy.

But with dangerous cold bearing down on much of the Midwest, some customers may be better off setting their thermostat and leaving it at a steady temperature – at least temporarily.

By setting their thermostat to a comfortable temperature around the clock during extreme cold, customers with a less efficient home or less reliable furnace can lessen the load on the furnace, because it won’t have to work as hard in the morning to reach a comfortable temperature.

“When temperatures become potentially life-threatening, we want our customers to focus on doing whatever it takes to stay safe and warm indoors,” Tina Hoffman, MidAmerican Energy communications director, said.

Customers with more efficient homes and furnaces can continue to set back their temperature at night to save energy and money – or program a smart thermostat to do it automatically.

Those concerned about their furnace efficiency or optimizing home heat should contact a trusted heating and cooling professional.

MidAmerican Energy offers more tips to help customers keep their homes warm during the unusually frigid cold snap:

• Make sure your interior supply and return air vents, baseboards and radiators are clear so that warm air can circulate indoors.
• If your home furnace has outdoor plastic intake and exhaust vent pipes, clear away snow and ice to make sure they’re not blocked.
• Check your furnace filter. If the filter is dirty, replace it according to the furnace manufacturer’s recommendations.
• If you have window curtains, keep them closed as they may help stop cold air that leaks in through your windows.
• If you feel cold air drafting in through windows or doors, consider adding weather stripping around your windows and doors.
• Do not use a gas stove to heat your home and do not run a generator indoors.
• A working carbon monoxide detector is just as important as a smoke alarm. Test both regularly. Carbon monoxide is odorless, and can cause flu-like symptoms – even death. If you suspect CO poisoning, dial 911, seek fresh air and remain outside or elsewhere until help arrives.
• Hire a professional to inspect and service your furnace once a year to make sure it’s working correctly – that will help keep you safe and warm during the next cold snap.

MidAmerican Energy encourages any customer who is experiencing financial difficulties to call 888-427-5632 to discuss payment options.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves 770,000 electric customers and 751,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available at midamericanenergy.com and company social media channels.
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