Summer in Louisiana brings swimming at Holly Beach. It also means fishing at Toledo Bend Reservoir. And for those of us who want the summer heat to stay outside, it usually means sticker shock when we get our monthly electric bill. But there are ways you can beat the heat or at least beat the high cost of not being hot.

That's your official weather forecast from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lake Charles, Louisiana. If you're in other parts of the state, namely New Orleans, Shreveport, Monroe, Ruston, or Alexandria, you'll see numbers similar to those on your thermometer today and Saturday too.

You'll See High Numbers on Your Utility Bill Too

The website has done the math and through their number crunching, we have learned that the average monthly cost for electricity in Louisiana is $203. That's an average, in the summer months it's not uncommon for your electricity bill to run $100 to $150 higher because of additional usage and the fact the power companies charge you more during periods of peak demand.


One way you can reduce your power bill is by raising the temperature on your air conditioner's thermostat. A bump up to 78 degrees from 72 degrees will save you about 15% on your total cooling expenditures. In real money that would be a savings of $30.00 off of your monthly average bill. For peak summertime usage, you could be saving as much as $50 bucks, just by raising the temperature to 78.

Does Anyone Actually Set the Air Conditioner at 78?

I don't know anyone who does that. But I do know at my house we run our air conditioner at 76. Yes, that does seem warm but we have a secret weapon that you probably have too, it's a ceiling fan. The fan, even at low speed, generates a cooling breeze that makes the room it serves feel much cooler.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo

But there is a catch with using a ceiling fan that a lot of us just don't understand. That catch is this, which way should the blades be spinning to maximize cooling?

Your Ceiling Fan and NASCAR Should Have This in Common

Just as the "Good ol Boys" of that National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing do, your ceiling fan blades should travel "anti-clockwise". We call it counterclockwise in America and if you don't understand what "clockwise and counterclockwise" mean because you've only grown up with digital clocks then watch this video.

Remember a ceiling fan doesn't cool the air, it moves the air. It's the movement of the air against your skin that creates the illusion of cooling. And whether it's real or not, all you want to do is feel cooler, right?

During the winter months when you want to get the most out of your heating unit, you can reverse the spin of the blades. It really is that simple. And while most of us know how to adjust the direction of our fans a recent survey suggested that about 70% of us did not have  a clue as to which direction the fan would need to spin to aid in cooling during the summer months.

12 Ways to Help Your Air Conditioner Cool Your Home Better

Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells