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Insomnia To Costly Energy Bills: The Struggles Of Extreme Heat

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s the summer of the heat wave, and that means struggle for many.

“At night, I have strategically placed ice packs on my chest and stomach,” said Fawn Moats, of Minneapolis.

From traditional sources of relief to those you might not have guessed, this rare warm air is making for sleepless nights for those without air conditioning.

“Wakes me up around 6 or 7 every morning, sweating,” said Donovan Lawrow, of Minneapolis, who uses many fans to cool his home.

While those with air conditioning might not feel the pain physically, they do feel discomfort when looking at their pocket books.

“Someone could see 20 to 30 percent higher energy bills in the summer because they are using more electricity,” said Laura McCarten, the vice president for Excel Energy.

According to McCarten, Minnesota is on track to beat the record for energy use set in July of 2011.

“Today, even we may approach the record that we’ve ever seen for customer use for electricity,” McCarten said.

While many are ramping up their use, not everyone’s convinced air conditioning is the answer.

Moats said it’s not cost that deters her from getting cool. Instead, she refuses to purchase a window air conditioning unit because she fears it invites crime.

“If I’m not home and I’ve got that window unit in there that it could be easily popped out,” Moats said.

Meteorologist Chris Shaffer says he has an alternative solution.

“You could purchase and run a dehumidifier. What that does is suck that moisture out of the air, and allows it to cool down more,” Shaffer said.

Another trick: If you have a fan, put a bucket of ice cubes in front and let the fan blow extra cool air.

When it comes to being energy efficient: If you leave your home, put the fan on low and crank it up when you get back.

The same theory goes for those with air conditioning. Xcel Energy said the most energy efficient number to set or program the thermostat to is 78 degrees.

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