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.