DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In neighborhoods across Dallas, the concern during the current string of 100+ degree days North Texas is the connection between elderly homeowners and their reluctance to run air conditioning units.

Five heat-connected deaths in Dallas County has raised the concern level for seniors.

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Some like Cathey Juarez, a 70-year old resident of the Los Altos neighborhood of West Dallas say they use the AC for the bedroom, but not in other sections of the home.

Juarez says there’s only one reason why.  “The bill. The electric bill. I can’t put the central air on because it isn’t insulated. 2weeks in July a couple of years back, the bill was 300. I can not afford that..”

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Dallas County Health Authorities are urging Dallas County families to use the home cooling systems they have, and worry about paying the utlity bill later.

“They should not be afraid to run their air conditioning during these extreme heat conditions because of high electric bill. There are ways to assist them,” says Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson.

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The county has set up a heat hotline for people in need.  You can reach them any time at (214) 819-6001.