The heat is rising outside and so is my electric bill. There have to be some other ways to stay cool this summer without blasting the AC units 24/7! Here are some frugal ways to save money on your electric bill and stay cool on these hot summer days:
- Fans: Invest in some fans to help recirculate the air in your home or apartment. There are many varieties of fans including use ceiling fans, window fans and tower fans that are each good for cooling different areas. Fans can help your apartment feel cooler at only a fraction of the cost of running an AC unit. Check out this article for more information on fans.
- Windows: Keep the curtains and/or blinds closed during the warmest parts of the day. If the windows still let in too much light cover them with a material like bubble wrap. If the temperature drops below 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night, open the windows and use a fan to circulate the cool air. But, make sure to close them before it begins to warm up again.
- Keep Cool and Wet: Take a cold shower and let your hair air dry. A great time to do this is right before bed, so you can fall asleep while you are still cool. Another quick way to cool down is by wetting a towel with cold water and wrapping it around your neck. It cools the passing blood in your veins and cools your body’s temperature.
- Drink Water: Be sure to keep hydrated. Drink cold drinks and plenty of them. As you get hot, your body sweats in an effort to cool itself. Replacing the loss of fluid is vital. Be sure to hydrate long before you enter the heat.
- Eat Light: Eat light meals and avoid hot foods on warm days. Try eating chilled foods and salads as well as lots of fruits and veggies. Check out these articles by lifehacker and new york magazine for some cool food and drink ideas.
- Dress Right: Whether you are at home or outside dress for the heat. Wear lighter, more breathable clothing. Instead of walking around the house in jeans and a t-shirt, why not throw on some cotton shorts and a tank?
- Keep Appliance Use to a Minimum: Try not to use your oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer as much as possible during the warmer parts of the day as these appliances give off a significant amount of heat. If you must use your oven, try cooking several things at once or make a large batch of items that you can freeze for later use.
- Control the Air: Use energy saver and timer features on your AC unit or thermostat to help you adjust the temperature higher while you are gone or sleeping. Each degree that you set your thermostat below 78 will increase your energy use by 3 or 4%. Be sure to close doors to rooms that aren’t often used so you aren’t cooling a space that you don’t use. Sleep in the coolest room in the house.
- Check The Filters and Vents: If you have central air, make sure that all of the air vents are clear of obstructions. Similarly, make sure that the AC unit has a clear path to circulate the air, use fans to help circulate the cool air to other parts of your home. Make sure to change the filter in your AC unit, buy a reusable one if possible.
- Get out: If you have had enough of the heat, get out of the house! Head to the library, mall or a friend’s home to use someone else’s air conditioning for a while.
Join the Conversation: How do you stay cool in the summer?