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Beat The Heat: 4 Budget-Friendly Options To Stay Cool

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When the heat starts to get to you, it can be hard to find a way to keep your cool. This is particularly true when it costs so much to run air conditioners. However, there are a few ways that you can reduce energy costs and make sure that you stay comfortable. Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat:

Create Your Own Shade

When homeowners are trying to figure out a way to reduce heating and cooling costs, they tend to lean toward technology. However, there are other ways to help cut down on energy costs. One such way is by creating shade around the home. This can include anything from landscaping and trees to awnings and trelliswork. Anything that helps keep the sun from shining down on the house will reduce the amount of heat gain inside.

Purchase an Evaporative Cooler

Evaporative coolers are becoming much more popular today. This is particularly true in dryer climates where they are truly appreciated. These machines are very simple and have the ability to lower the outside air temperature up to 30 degrees. It does this by blowing air through wet pads, which adds moisture into the air, thereby reducing humidity levels and creating cooler air. While evaporative coolers should not be considered a substitute for standard air conditioning, it can be helpful on days when the temperatures are hot but not sweltering. Plus, it's less expensive to operate since it uses 75 percent less electricity.

Consider What You're Cooking for Dinner

Anything that uses that oven or significant stovetop cooking time is going to heat the house up. This can be absolutely dreadful in the summer. Instead, you should try opting for lighter meals that can be ready for serving with very little to no cooking time. Whenever possible, consider using your outdoor grill for more serious cooking, such as steaks, hamburgers and ribs. It may be a little warm while you're grilling, but it's better than heating up the inside of the house.

Make Sure Your AC Unit Is an Appropriate Size

Many homeowners purchase air conditioners that are much too large for the area that they will be cooling because they tend to believe it will cool the space better. However, this is actually opposite from the truth. If the AC unit is too large for a particular space, it will waste energy and it is less effective. It may cool the room off quickly, but it won't remove all of the humidity that is in the room, which leaves a sticky, uncomfortable feeling. Energy Star has a great guide to help you choose the right size AC based on the square footage of the space you are cooling.

You can also reduce your heating and cooling costs by ensuring your HVAC unit is operating at its prime. If your unit has not been inspected recently or needs repairs, consult with an HVAC professional like one from Cook & Son Plumbing & Heating Inc and schedule a time for an inspection or repairs to take place. This will greatly increase the performance of your heating and cooling system.