Summer heat means higher air-conditioning bills: Here's how you can cut costs

ATLANTA — Summer heat usually means higher air-conditioning bills. Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Eboni Deon learned how you can keep cool and cut costs.

The magic number is 78. That’s where you should keep your thermostat, according to the spokesperson for Georgia Power, Craig Bell.

“Now that might be a little hot for some people, but that guarantees that you have a reasonable bill that doesn’t fluctuate,” Bell said. “We really encourage people to have a programmable thermostat.”

Smart thermostats are growing in popularity. You can program them from your phone to make adjustments if you’re going to be away.

“These blinds are open. But as blinds are open, we know that lets the heat in. So in the daytime, if you’re not home and you don’t need to see outside, close them. That blocks a lot of heat from coming into your home,” Bell said.


Avoid throwing your money out the window.

Bell said check your window sills and check the sealant around your doors. He also said ceiling fans are teammates to the air-conditioning units.

“The more cool air that’s being pushed down, that’s the more you can raise your thermostat a degree or two. That’s a big savings,” Bell said.

Sharon King is already doing her part to stay cool.

“We keep the blinds closed, turn the air down and keep the ceiling fans going,” King said.

King’s friend, Syra Pethal, and Pethal's family replaced their entire air-conditioning units and added dehumidifiers.

“We put the dehumidify on, and that dehumidifies the room, which cools it down because the humidity is what’s making it so hot,” Pethal said.

With air conditioners pumping non-stop this summer, maintenance is also important.

Bell suggests changing your air filters at least once a quarter. This will help keep the air-conditioning running properly, and that will circulate the air in your home more efficiently.