By Megan Powell
INDIANAPOLIS – Higher temperatures across the state can lead to serious health complications and higher electric bills.
While Hoosiers cannot control the weather, residents can take steps to stay safe and better manage electricity use and its cost.
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States, of Central Indiana encourages Hoosiers of all ages to download the emergency app.
Although it might be “daunting” for older citizens to use new smart phone technology, Regional Communication Director for the Red Cross Duchess Adjei said it’s an interactive and engaging way to stay safe.
“We want to be that impact provider and we want folks to see us as that impact provider, making their community safe,” said Adjei.
Adjei suggested holding off on taking part in strenuous activities during the hottest time of day, typically between 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., wearing light colored clothing when outside, using the buddy system and drinking plenty of water.
“We want folks to really know that we are in their community and to reach out to us,” Adjei said. “We are celebrating 100 years this year, so that’s a really big milestone for us and want the community to know we are with them.”
Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler said the forecast for the rest of the week – calling for temperatures in the 90’s throughout Indiana – is a call for everyone to use electricity more carefully.
“There are many low-cost and no-cost steps that can help add up to savings for the consumer, while also helping to ease the electric grid’s workload at its busiest time,” said Stippler.
To help keep energy expenses in check, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor recommends citizens following these tips:
- Cook with a microwave during the day. On 90-plus degree days, it’s best to wait until evening to use the oven, wash dishes, do laundry, or use other large appliances.
- Use ceiling fans when you’re in the room but turn them off when you leave. Ceiling fans should turn counter-clockwise during the summer.
- Keep the thermostat at the warmest comfortable temperature, and raise it a few degrees if no one will be home for more than 5 hours.
- Move TVs and appliances, especially older ones, away from the thermostat because of the heat they give off. And move lamps away from the thermostat if you’re using traditional incandescent bulbs.
- If you’re not using a charger for a cell phone or other device, unplug it. Don’t underestimate how much “phantom power” is leaked from a device that’s plugged in but not being used. Power strips can help.
- Turn off all lights, computers, TVs, and other appliances if you are not using them. Use timers for these items in your home when going on vacation.
- Keep blinds, shades, draperies, windows, and storm doors closed, especially in the afternoon.
- Check the temperature on your water heater. For most households, it doesn’t need to be higher than 120 degrees.
- Clean or vacuum the coils on your refrigerator.
- Close your refrigerator and freezer doors on a dollar bill, and then try to pull the bill out. If it slides out, then your gaskets are loose and are letting cold air seep away.
- For more tips click here.
Megan Powell is a reporter forTheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.