It is already really hot outside! Here are a few suggestions of less expensive ways of ways to stay cool and keep your utilities within your budget when beating the heat.
Cooling Your Home with Equipment
There are several ways to cool your home that will cost less then central air conditioning. Portable fans are so reasonable in cost, that you could buy one for every room. We are fortunate that our temperatures vary and go down to a cool temperature during the night in the hottest part of the year so if you get up early and have the time, you could open your windows and doors (hopefully with screens on them) and let the fans pull the cool air in until it starts to warm or you need to leave.
Try pricing a portable air conditioner that you can move from room to room. They will run a little more, but watch for sales on them (however, they may be in such demand with the heat that we have now, that cooling units may be in short supply). Swamp coolers are a relatively inexpensive way to cool your home and they will last from year to year. They sit outside and fit into one of your windows and stay in place for the duration you need them.
You should probably cover them or bring them into a storage shed or the garage for winter time. All of the above equipment that I have talked about are best bought at the end of the season when the stores are wanting to get rid of them and have super sales on them, but if you didn’t do that last year, just shop around and compare prices, watch for store coupons or specials or the classified ads in the Herald and News or Nickel.
Other Ways to Keep your Home Cool
Even if you use any of the cooling equipment above, there are additional things you can do to keep your home as cool as possible. When the sun starts coming in during the hottest part of the day, close the drapes, blinds, curtains and other window coverings you may have to prevent the sun from beating in on your rooms. Also, try not to cook or bake during the heat of the day.
If you need to warm up food, use your microwave or a crockpot as they do not give off much heat at all. If you need to do laundry, do it in the early morning or evening so the heat from the dryer isn’t warming up your home. If you have a gas fireplace, turn the pilot light off – it will save you both money and a little heat throughout the summer.
Keeping Cool while Outside
If you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, be sure to wear sun block and light weight clothing. Also use a hat to shade your head and face. Most stores have summer clothing on sale and watch for coupons for sunscreen products. Try to sit in the shade or use a large patio umbrella around your outdoor furniture.
Again, there will be huge discounts at the stores at the end of the season on all outdoor furniture if you don’t already have what you want and can fit it in your budget. If you bought a pool, put on your suit and take a dip. If you don’t have a pool, just have the kids run through the sprinklers to cool off. Use a hand fan that most stores sell that fills with water or just runs on batteries to cool your face. Don’t forget your sunglasses!
If you don’t have the money to buy any of the cooling equipment to keep your home cool during the summer and you end up sweltering during the hottest part of the day, then choose that time to go to the local stores and do your shopping – be sure to wear your mask and social distance! You can take your time walking around in a nice, cool building before you go home.
If you drive to the store, be sure to crack your windows slightly so the car doesn’t get so hot inside when it is parked. And never, ever leave an animal or child (or anyone for that matter) inside a hot car. Drink plenty of liquids during hot times, and if you add ice, that will help to cool you off. If you can’t find a pool to sit in or don’t want to, place a cool damp cloth on your neck to keep you cooler.