Ameren Illinois officials are advising customers to stay safe and cool while managing their electricity usage during the heat wave that is impacting central and southern Illinois.
"We want to remind our customers to stay safe and cool while taking actions to control their energy usage," said Richard J. Mark, president, Ameren Illinois.
Ameren Illinois offers these hot weather safety and savings tips:
• During extremely hot weather, check on friends, neighbors and relatives who may be especially vulnerable to high temperatures, such as those who are older, have medical issues or do not have air conditioning.
• Never leave seniors, young children or pets unattended in a parked car or warm residence. You could put them at risk for heat-related illnesses or even death. Even with the windows cracked, the inside of a car can heat up to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.
• If you do not have an air conditioner, consider going to an air conditioned place during the hottest times of the day. Options may include the home of a friend or neighbor, a shopping mall or a public building. Some communities have temporary cooling centers.
• In addition to staying as cool as possible, it is important to drink plenty of water or other liquids that do not contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar. Never wait until you are thirsty to drink.
• Use low-operating cost ceiling fans or other types of circulating fans. Circulating air feels cooler. By using circulating fans, you may find you can set the air conditioner thermostat at a higher temperature and still keep the room comfortable.
• Regularly change or wash (depending on type) air conditioner filters. This is especially important if you have pets or live in an area that has a lot of dust.
• Keep lights off as much as possible, as the bulbs can heat up the room. Keep shades, curtains and blinds closed during the day to reduce effects of solar heating.
• Don’t forget to take extra care of your pets. Watch for signs of heat stroke, especially heavy panting, lethargy or vomiting. Be sure to provide plenty of water and offer your dog several ways to cool off. For example, leave a fan on in a place where your pet can sit in front of it, or add some ice cubes to the water bowl.
Ameren Illinois partners with local authorities to communicate about the availability of cooling centers.
For safety tips and information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.
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