Keeping your cool

air conditioning budgetWith the recent surge in temperatures, you may be finding that trying to keep cool is making you lose your cool- at least when it comes to your electricity bill.

Here are a few ideas on how to keep your energy costs down- especially when temperatures are extreme. 

Turn it down

Although you may be desperately seeking relief from the heat, turning down the temp on the A/C is truly short term gain for long term pain (in the wallet).

Save the A/C for truly, oppressively hot days. And when you do, turn it up. A guide? Make your inside cooler than the outside, but not equivalent to your freezer.

A/C alternatives

There are ways to cool down without the A/C at all. Buy a fan (or two). With windows open and the ability to create a cross breeze, you’d be surprised at how effectively you can cool your space.

Some more low-tech alternatives? Try cold showers (especially right before bed). Keep the lights off or low (saving more energy, but also cooling the room). Another trick is to apply ice cubes or run cold water over pressure points (like your wrists).

Splash it up

You may not have a backyard oasis pool, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cool down in your yard. Kids (and grown ups) can literally spend hours splashing in the garden hose or running through the sprinkler.

No pool? Splurge and buy an inflatable kiddie pool. Size is relative. It fits the budget and does the job.

Cut costs elsewhere

If you are finding that you can’t get heat relief, keep that A/C pumping, but find other areas in your energy use to cut back. Hand wash dishes instead of running the dishwasher. Do your laundry during non-peak hours during which you’ll pay a premium for energy usage.