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Q: Can you cool your house by turning your air conditioning off during the hottest hours of the day and then running it at night when the air temperature is cooler outside?

A: Advice from Consumer Reports: “Energy Star, a joint federal program run by the DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency, recommends that for optimal cooling and energy efficiency, the coolest you should keep your house is 78° F — and that’s only when you’re at home and awake.

A smart or programmable thermostat makes it easy to match your cooling needs to your schedule, but you can make the adjustments manually if you don’t have one for your central air system. Try the following settings: 78 degrees F when you’re home; 85 degrees when you’re at work or away; and 82 degrees when you’re sleeping.

If you have a fan, turn it on. A ceiling fan or box fan causes a wind chill effect that makes you feel cooler at a higher temperature setting, as long as the humidity isn’t too high. If you live in an area with moderate temperatures, you might not need your central air conditioning all day and night. Take advantage of cooler night temperatures by keeping your windows open. Close them first thing in the morning and keep your shades and curtains drawn when it’s sunny outside to prevent the sun from heating up the house.”

Q: Why is there water running across Sixth Street near Randall? It’s been going on for weeks.

A: This is a water service line leak. At this time this question was called in, the Waterloo Water Works had already been informed the owners were in the process of getting plumbers lined up to make the needed repairs. Water Works staff are keeping an eye on this situation and other service line leaks to ensure they are fixed in a timely manner.

Q: When are they going fix the metal on the divider on Broadway Street in front of Fereday Heating?

A: Waterloo Public Works Director Randy Bennett said materials have been ordered to repair the guardrail. Attempts to locate the driver who damaged the rail were unsuccessful.

Q: Is there a standard level for how manholes should be with the surface of the street?

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A: The city of Waterloo follows the Iowa Statewide Urban Design and Specification Standards.

Q: When I was a little girl, a cable car went by the Salvation Army Church by Lincoln Park. What was the name of that car, and how far did it go?

A: According to “The Cedar Valley Road,” street cars ran in Waterloo from 1896 to 1958, run by WCF & N. The service was often referred to as “The Interurban,” according to old Courier articles, but as far as we can tell, the cars themselves were just numbered. Cars eventually went north to Waverly and south to Cedar Rapids.

Q: What is the phone number to call the Better Business Bureau or what other agency can we contact about a business that is somewhat shady?

A: Call the Better Business Bureau at (800) 222-1600.

Q: On the Repatha commercial is that a real family wedding reception or actors?

A: Those are actors. The bride was played by actor Julie Summers, and Paul Harris played the father.

Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.

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