Stay safe and cool in dangerous heat with cooling tips

Easy-to-access resources can help protect vulnerable customers

Submitted by Ameren Missouri

As temperatures soar into triple digits with a high heat advisory, Ameren Missouri is sharing resources to keep cool and safe.

"With the forecast calling for temperatures to reach 100 degrees, we want to make sure our customers are staying safe during the dangerous heat by utilizing their air conditioners," said Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "We also encourage everyone to check on their neighbors and loved ones, and take advantage of available resources to safely navigate the summer heat."

Customers and their families are encouraged to visit AmerenMissouri.com/HealthAndSafety for information on the following resources that can serve as safeguards during the hot summer months.

Keeping Cool Program – Helps make summer energy bills more affordable for seniors, people with disabilities, the chronically ill or households with young children. It includes up to three monthly electric bill credits in the summer months to keep customers cool and safe.

The Caring Contact Program – Eligible customers may designate a person or agency for Ameren Missouri to contact prior to disconnection for nonpayment. Caring Contact helps protect the health and safety of older adults and people with disabilities who may need additional support in handling potential disconnection of service.

Medical Equipment Registry – Allows customers to register electrically operated life-sustaining medical equipment so Ameren Missouri can notify them about planned maintenance outages.

Easy adjustments to increase energy efficiency at home can save money on energy costs, reduce stress on HVAC systems and help keep you and your family cool.

“Simple tips like closing the curtains and adjusting your thermostat a couple degrees higher take only a few minutes and can keep your family comfortable while helping you control your energy use during the heat wave and all summer long,” said Tony Lozano, director of energy solutions at Ameren Missouri.

Ameren Missouri’s Cool-Down Tips:

Stay in the shade. Use curtains and blinds to block out direct sunlight, especially during the hottest part of the afternoon. Keeping curtains and drapes closed can help reduce the heat indoors by 33%.

Feel the breeze. Use ceiling or other fans in addition to the air conditioner to help keep cool air circulating. Remember to set the ceiling fan’s blades to spin counterclockwise to create a cool breeze. Supplementing the air conditioner with a ceiling fan enables you to set the thermostat about 4 degrees higher without affecting your comfort.

Take your meal prep outside. Limit the use of ovens and stove tops for indoor cooking. Grilling outdoors can reduce excess heat produced in the kitchen from large appliances.

Clean out air conditioner filters. Well-maintained HVAC units are less likely to fail during months of hard use in the summer. Cleaning out ducts and changing air filters can keep your HVAC system running efficiently.

Reduce hot water use. Take shorter showers and use bathroom exhaust fans to remove the heat and humidity. Make sure bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are vented to the outside, not the attic, to keep the warm air out.

Upgrade your thermostat. Lower your cooling costs and keep your home comfortable by upgrading to a smart thermostat. Ameren Missouri customers are currently eligible for a $0 Sensi smart thermostat, thanks to instant discounts and participation in the Peak Time Savings program. Visit AmerenMissouri.com/SaveSmart to get yours today.

Ameren Missouri customers can find rebates on many energy-efficient products that help keep your home more comfortable and reduce energy costs. Rebates and savings opportunities for smart thermostats and high-efficiency air conditioners are available for customers at Amerenmissourisavings.com.