The first official day of summer has come and gone, and we’ve been having the weather to vouch for it! I’ve always preferred being hot to being cold, so I’ve never been one to complain, but having a little one at home who’s clearly uncomfortable has made us rethink our home cooling situation a bit. We decided to have central air installed in our new home, which we’ve never had before. We had always relied on fans and window units to keep us cool when the sun was blazing, but for us, right now, this seemed like the smarter decision to make. It’s made a world of a difference for us, and we don’t regret the switch, but we HAVE noticed the toll it’s taking on our wallets. We’ve been brainstorming ways to keep cool while staying under budget, and these are a few of the tips we came up with to help offset some of the new costs…
Turn off the AC when you can. If the outside temperature cools off, there’s no need to run your air conditioner. Open the windows and let a fan circulate fresh, cool air through the house until temperatures go up again. Also consider turning off your air if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, such as a vacation. We have a smart thermostat that allows us to control our house temperature from anywhere using our smart phones. It costs more upfront, but it’s saving us more in the long run.
Set a temperature limit. Find a temperature that’s comfortable but not frigid during the day. At night or when you leave the house, kick it up a few more degrees. You won’t notice much difference, but even just this small change will be reflected in your bill.
Don’t forget about your fan. Use a ceiling or room fan to circulate cool air. You can turn your thermostat up a few degrees without noticing a change in temperature.
Close the curtains. Keeping the shades closed during the day will keep the sun and heat out and cooler air in.
Find a friend. We went YEARS without having central air, and got by with a window unit when we lived in a third-floor attic apartment. When the heat was too unbearable, we camped out at my parents’ house or stayed with friends nearby. Sometimes we’d even head to the mall or a restaurant or cafe for a bite to eat. We got the benefits of air conditioning without the bill!
Take a swim. Some people avoid going outside altogether when it’s hot, but heading to the pool is one of my favorite ways to cool down. Come armed with some snacks and I’m sure a friend with a pool would be happy to have you, or else neighborhood pools are often available to the public for a nominal fee.
How do you beat the heat in the summer without spending a fortune?