I’m not a person who does well with temperature extremes. I get so cold in the winter and in the summer I’m prone to heat sickness. Staying cool in the summer heat is a major priority to me.
Here’s how to keep your cool this summer without breaking the bank:
Be strategic with your landscaping. Plant deciduous trees that provide shade in the summer and when they lose their leaves in the fall, help let the sun shine in during the winter months.
Use fans to circulate the air through your house. A cross-breeze is ideal. Put some ice water in front of the fan to blow cooler air around.
Don’t heat up your kitchen. Use your slow cooker, eat cool meals like salads or sandwiches, or use your grill. If you absolutely must do baking, be sure to use your oven late at night or early in the morning.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Put cool washcloths on your pulse points (back of the neck, wrists, back of the knees and ankles.
Take advantage of the cooler evenings. Open all the windows and use fans to circulate the air. When you get up in the morning, close up the windows, close the shades and curtains and keep the house shut up tight. If you open the windows and shades during the height of the afternoon, you’ll heat up your house pretty fast.
Go swimming, hang out in a kiddie pool, or dash through the sprinkler. If playing in the water isn’t your style, you could wash your car or water your plants and just accidently get wet.
Head indoors. Go to your local library or shopping mall and take advantage of their air conditioning. Just remind yourself not to spend anything or the free A/C could get pricey!
Use a programmable thermostat. Use a programmable thermostat with your air conditioning to only cool the house when you’re home. And remember, if you’re wearing a sweater in July in your house, you could turn up the thermostat and save a few bucks there.
Check with your local utility company for other money-saving options. My utility company offers a program that allows them to cycle my air conditioning unit off and on during periods of peak energy use. The house stays cool and I spend a fraction of what I would pay at regular rates.
How do beat the summer heat?
Those bean-bag type ice packs are also great for putting on your pulse points — and much less messy than the wet washcloth and/or washcloth with an ice cube in it. I need to remember to bring some the next time we visit my in-laws during the summer and have to sleep in their unbearably hot upstairs bedroom. (So I don’t make such a drippy mess — again — with the ice cubes and can actually get some sleep.)
Kristin @Making Cents Out of Life says
I hadn’t thought of most of these! I wish our utility company offered the same service yours does…their suggestion? Pay your bill! I was just not made for hot weather. I can handle winter, not well but I can still take it and not be quite so miserable. We’re researching the cost of installing a programmable thermostat now, because I think that’s going to be the biggest key to our saving money during extreme temperature changes.
The first thing we did when we moved into this house was to install ceiling fans into every room we’d be spending significant time in. Not only will it keep your home cool and keep your bill down, but it will also raise the value of your home depending on where you live and if you put up quality fans. When we put ours up, we spent about $200, but we hadded triple that in value to our home according to a real estate agent we know. We replaced even the older fans with the newer ones we put up so they’d all match, which isn’t necessary but it made them all look nice, plus they worked better! Summertime in Alabama this year has been soooooo hot1