How to Escape the Dog Day Heat of August without Breaking the Bank

There’s no heat in Iowa quite like the sizzling, sometimes unmerciful humidity of the dog days of summer.

It’s a type of humidity-drenched sun that can drive the devil to Wal-Mart hunting for air conditioners. It’s the type of heat that melt ice cream to the cone in less than a minute. It’s the type of heat that can drive you to explore time shares in northern Alaska. It’s the type of heat that makes you wish (at least for a second or two) you were a penguin living in Antarctica.

Unless you don’t mind your home having the comfort level of the devil’s house, it’s best to fight off August’s average 81-degree temperatures (not including the heat index) through the comfort of air conditioning. Alas, escaping the sun’s scorching wrath of August does not come cheap, especially with inflation driving up energy costs. reports air conditioning costs have spiked 12% since last year. The year-to-year increase equals an average $540 extra dollars American households have to devote to home electric bills alone. CNC reports May’s average home energy costs alone were 35% higher than May 2021’s average U.S. home energy bill.

The stunning rise in home air conditioning costs (part of the highest U.S. inflation levels in 40 years) have working class families sweating for all the wrong reasons. A HelpAdvisor survey found one in six respondents reporting they are unable to pay their monthly energy bill in full at least once in the last year.

And, Iowa, like much of the U.S., has been caught in a record-setting heat wave this summer that’s led to hundreds of deaths from heat exhaustion.

“Rising air conditioning costs are the latest household necessity putting financial pressure on American households,” Fortune’s Andrew Marquardt writes.

The only good news about the home energy price surge: At least it’s not snowing outside.

The intense heat is forcing more Americans to rely on their air conditioning to stay cool. Now more than ever, it’s important Iowa home owners rely on efficient energy use to survive the dog days of August.

  • Step 1: Make sure all windows and doors are sealed and leak-free, especially if you’re using a window air-conditioning unit.
  • Step 2: Make sure you’re running your fans and AC at full arctic blast only way your home. Program your thermostat 7-10 degrees warmer when you’re not home. Keep your blinds closed, especially in areas that receive direct sunlight.
  • Step 3: Limit the use of appliances that raise the temperature in your home. Allow dishwashers to air dry, try to go old-school by drying your laundry on the line and give your gas stove the night off for dinner.

A professional home energy assessment or audit can confirm the energy efficiency of your home and identify costly big problems.

For staying cool during August in Iowa is hard enough without having soaring energy costs putting additional heat on your family’s budget.

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