The advent of air-conditioning replaced these time-tested methods of staying cool during summertime temperature spikes. But with quick relief from stifling heat also came higher electric bills. Now, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 9 percent of Americans’ household energy costs are dedicated to cooling – and that number probably is a little higher for many Iowans. But you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and convenience to save on your bill. All it takes is smart planning, a little elbow grease and dedication to beating the heat – and high power bills.

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If you talk to an energy-efficiency expert from your local electric cooperative, one of the first things he or she will do is ask about insulation in your home. What type do you have? Is it in the attic, walls and floors? How about the basement or crawl space?

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Manufactured homes often log disproportionately higher energy bills, compared to traditional wood-frame or modular homes. Here are some steps you can take to identify the most common energy-wasting culprits and remedy them.

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