As we move into the dog days of summer Georgia Power offers some helpful tips to stay cool and save on energy bills.

Keeping cool
During the summer the air conditioner is usually the biggest user of electricity. For many homes it accounts for more than half of the summer electric bill.
Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and leave it there. For every degree below that setting you'll use 3 percent to 4 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.
Invest in a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your home's temperature to your schedule so you're comfortable when at home and save energy while away.
Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly to maximize the unit's cooling potential. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
Check your windows and doors for a tight fit. Apply weather stripping or caulking if needed.
Use fans whenever possible. Ceiling fans can make the air in a room feel 6 degrees cooler and allow you to save energy. However remember to turn them off when you're not in the room.
Proper insulation
Increasing attic insulation can reduce heat loss/heat gain by up to 28 percent.
Insulation is measured in R-value which is a measure of resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value the better the insulation value.
Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-30 or higher depending on local energy codes in ceiling areas.
In the kitchen
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.
Whenever possible cook a lot of meals at the same time. This uses less energy than cooking each meal separately.
Using the refrigerator
Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Check them 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.
Set the refrigerator thermostat between 35 and 38 degrees and your freezer at zero degrees.
Clothes washer/dishwasher
Turn down your water-heater thermostat. A setting of 120 degrees is adequate for most homes and will save money and energy.
When using the dishwasher turn off the drying cycle if you don't need the dishes right away.
Run the dishwasher dryer and stove in the morning or after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house during the hottest part of the day.
Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it. Partial loads use just as much water and power as a full load.
Dry clothes in consecutive loads so the dryer does not have to reheat every time. Always clean the lint filter after each load.
Source: Georgia Power