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Energy-Saving Ways to Stay Cool

There's a brutal heat wave pestering many parts of the South and the Midwest, and in the rest of the country, it's still pretty darn hot. So I thought I would share a few of Georgia Power's tips for staying cool without making your energy bill skyrocket. Got some ideas of your own to share? Tell us in the comments section below.

  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and leave it there. For every degree below that setting, you'll use 3 to 5 percent more electricity.
  • Set the thermostat even higher when at work or away from home for long periods of time, but no more than five degrees higher.
  • Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly to maximize the unit's cooling potential.
  • Adjust your ceiling fan to turn counterclockwise in the summer.

For even more handy pointers,

  • Check your windows and doors for a tight fit. Apply weather stripping or caulking if needed.
  • When cooking, try to use the range instead of the oven. Or better yet, turn on the microwave or use a pressure cooker. Both use less power than a standard electric range.
  • Use pots and pans that match the size of the burners on your stove. This allows more heat to the pan and less heat will be lost to surrounding air.
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Check it by closing a piece of paper in the door, half in and half out. If you can pull the paper out easily, you may need to make some adjustments or replace the seal.

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Join The Conversation
beingtazim beingtazim 8 years
these are great, Casa! Do you have some tips on how to keep warm? Its winter down here and there isn't central heating. i have to pay $150 because we just use a space heater. :( its very drafty and the windows don't close properly either!
mlmoreno47 mlmoreno47 8 years
We put big blocks of ice in the fridge in the garage to help keep that stuff cool because the garage gets SOOOO hot. I live in Southern California and its like 90 at 9am. We also leave the garage door open like 2 feet to vent some of that air. Also, don't run the dishwasher during the day because the 'dry' setting produces a lot of heat!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
My 'lectric bill this month? $140 buckaroos
SarahwithanH SarahwithanH 8 years
You should also try and keep your shades down if you can. It really helps keep your home cooler during the mid-day heat.
jesse3000 jesse3000 8 years
I need to reprogram my thermostat.
hestadalen hestadalen 8 years
also, if you use electric fans in conjunction with the a/c, you can bump the a/c temp up a little and it'll still feel cool thanks to the airflow.askmetostay is right about the switch on the fans--just shut off the fan and flip the switch (on the main part of the fan). this also will help distribute hot air in the winter.
hestadalen hestadalen 8 years
also, if you use electric fans in conjunction with the a/c, you can bump the a/c temp up a little and it'll still feel cool thanks to the airflow. askmetostay is right about the switch on the fans--just shut off the fan and flip the switch (on the main part of the fan). this also will help distribute hot air in the winter.
askmetostay askmetostay 8 years
msot fans have a switch on them that changes the direction...we've done this at home for years...maybe it's a southern thing?
ALSW ALSW 8 years
How can you change the fan to go in a different direction?We leave our AC on 78 during the day while we're at work, but at night, we change it to 74 - and it's still hot!
ALSW ALSW 8 years
How can you change the fan to go in a different direction? We leave our AC on 78 during the day while we're at work, but at night, we change it to 74 - and it's still hot!
auddie auddie 8 years
The counter clockwise on the fan changes the direction of the air flow, so there is more of a down-draft. Clockwise will pull the cool air away in the colder months.
karisaamy karisaamy 8 years
I was going to ask the same thing colormesticky - I don't get how making the fan turn counter clockwise would make any difference.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
Why does the ceiling fan going counter clockwise make a difference? I never heard that.
Historygal3 Historygal3 8 years
Shut the blinds or curtains on windows when they get direct sun.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 8 years
yeah the thermostat temp idea only works in some climates. In TX, keeping it on 78 is only if you lay very very still with all the lights off, right underneath the ceiling fan on high.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 8 years
If you can afford it, replace your windows with double-paned ones. Luckily the previous owners did this before we moved in. I keep the AC on 78-79 and it is ALWAYS very cool in my house and my bills are surprisingly quite low for how big my house is. No one can believe it but I know it's the windows!
tee0206 tee0206 8 years
Cool. My landlord has given us a lot of the same suggestions. She's great.
kayamate kayamate 8 years
hmm - i wish i could keep my thermostat at 78 in the summer, but we have way too many windows. our place feels like an oven, even at 78. any other options?also, i really like the window sealant suggestion. my husband and i have tried plastic sealants on the windows for the past two winters and they have saved us a ton of money!
kayamate kayamate 8 years
hmm - i wish i could keep my thermostat at 78 in the summer, but we have way too many windows. our place feels like an oven, even at 78. any other options? also, i really like the window sealant suggestion. my husband and i have tried plastic sealants on the windows for the past two winters and they have saved us a ton of money!
c0rkie c0rkie 8 years
awesome tip s :D
c0rkie c0rkie 8 years
awesome tip s :D
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