CHANHASSEN, Minn. (WCCO) — Step outside and it is easy to tell what a heat wave feels like. But a heat wave is much more colorful at the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, where the forecasts are painted with red, orange and yellow.

The humidity and high temperatures are here to stay for the weekend.

“Really, nowhere in the entire area are we going to get much relief,” said Todd Krause, an NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. “Low temperatures are only going to get down to 75 [degrees] or so.”

The tricky thing about this particular heat wave? Krause forecasts that the overnight temperatures just won’t drop off, and it will stay around 80 degrees through midnight.

“That’s not a lot of time to get that apartment or house cooled down,” Krause said.

Concrete, bricks and cement retain heat for longer periods of time, which it is why it’s always hotter near the city center — but cranking up the AC doesn’t mean breaking the bank.

“We are used to dealing with the extremes of winter and the extremes of summer,” said Xcel Energy Regional Vice President Laura McCarten.

Cooling your home can account for about half of a summertime electric bill, and Xcel Energy is offering up some simple tips to save money.

Turning your thermostat up just six degrees from 72 to 78 degrees can save you up to $100 over the course of the summer. They also suggest waiting until the sun goes down to do your laundry or run your dishwasher, since those can heat up your home and strain the local power grid.

“Even changing from incandescent lights, which throw out a lot of heat, to LED lightbulbs, which are very efficient,” said McCarten.

If you don’t have air conditioning, Hennepin County has a mobile map available that shows cool options in your area, like Salvation Army buildings, libraries and recreation centers.

Click here to view cooling centers in Hennepin County, and click here for information from Ramsey County.

And for more information on how to save money on your cooling bill during the summer, click here.

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