9 Creative Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning During the Dog Days of Summer

Electricity accounts for a big portion of most Americans' household budget. Especially in Georgia, power consumption surges when the temperatures rise. It feels so good to crank the air conditioning and get relief in the heat of summer.

The trouble is, getting comfortable can become expensive.

Rest assured, you have options. Here are 9 creative ways to save money when the heat hits this region this season.

  1. Sleep with the windows open. Let the cool air in while your family sleeps. Each morning close up before the sun starts to bake your home... and its inhabitants.
  2. Make use of drapes and blinds. According to the United States Department of Energy, you can manipulate your window treatments to reflect heat away from your home's interior, saving up to 45%. Like windows, lower them during the sunny part of the day, and close the slats.
  3. Keep a spray bottle nearby. If you've ever seen a restaurant hosting diners near an industrial mister and felt jealous, you're not alone. Get your fix by spending a buck on your own personal misting bottle. Or, get two and keep one in the fridge for a more shocking - and refreshing - spritz.
  4. Invest in a programmable thermostat... and learn how to use it. A thermostat that can be programmed to reduce your household's energy bill only costs a few bucks, and the return can be illimitable. The concept is simple: When you leave for work each day, the device lets your home warm up a bit while no one is home. A little while before you regularly come back, it tells your air conditioner to kick back on, making a comfortable environment when you arrive.
  5. Go on a leak hunt. Search your home for leaky windows or doors. Then caulk the cracks to keep the hot air out and the cool air in.
  6. Use fans smartly. A ceiling fan or box fan is a great solution to battling the heat in summer months. When you flip the fan on, you "buy" 4 degrees' worth of adjustment from your energy-hogging air conditioner. But when you leave the room, remember to turn the fan off, since fans don't actually change the temperature of the air.
  7. Don't heat from within. Turn off lights and televisions when you're not using them. Don't run hot appliances (think clothes dryer or oven) when cool alternatives (like line-drying or grilling outside) will do the job.
  8. Frequent your local splash pad. Hit the pool, set up the sprinkler or visit one of our three rivers to cool down. Get out of the hot house and into the breeze.
  9. Care for your air conditioning equipment. Whether you have central A/C or window units, keep its registers clean and dust-free so it doesn't have to work as hard to get the same job done. Keep furniture, toys and draperies away from the unit's intake.

You've heard it said, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity," and that's partly true. We live in a beautiful place, but summers can be brutal - especially the dog days. Thankfully, there are often other choices than simply changing the thermostat. Try one of these options today, and put your savings into a secure account to watch it grow.

Image Source: Flickr

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