8 Ways to Stay Cool this Summer on a Budget

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Tomorrow is the first official day of summer. I know: if you live anywhere south of Virginia it seems like summer has been here for about a month already. It’s HOT! And so in today’s post, to celebrate the official three-month heat wave that we like to call summer, we’re going to give you eight inexpensive tips to keep COOL.

Happy summer, everyone!

1) Start from the inside. You know that saying that “beauty starts from within?” Well, so does keeping cool. Not only is staying hydrated during the hot months of summer essential for your health, but drinking a nice cold glass of water will also make you feel cooler! If you don’t drink enough water, your body won’t be able to produce enough sweat—it’s natural way to cool itself. And if you’re thinking “gross, I don’t want to sweat!”, well, would you rather have heat stroke? So drink plenty of water and keep cool without spending a dime.  (PS- Going to the hospital for heat stroke does cost more than a dime.)

Also, snacking on things like ice cream, snow cones, popsicles, etc. or eating juicy fruits (there’s a reason watermelon is a summertime favorite!) will help your body chill out.

Fruit-filled popsicles like these are a great way to cool down from the inside out this summer

2) Get grilling. This isn’t just a favorite summer pastime because it’s fun—it saves you money! When you cook inside, the oven or stove will heat up the house and you’ll have to crank up the AC, thus cranking up the bill. Take the cooking outside and give your air-conditioning a break.

Save energy inside and take the cooking outside

3) Run your appliances at night. It isn’t just your oven or stove that produce heat—there’s also the washer, dryer, and other heat-producing appliances in your home. So if you need to use these when it’s hot outside, wait until the evening when it is at least a little bit cooler. If you simply can’t wait until then, try hand-washing and line-drying your clothes—they’d probably love it!

Run appliances at night to avoid unnecessarily heating up the house when it's hot out

4) Wear the right clothing. This may seem like a no-brainer, but remember: dark clothing absorbs heat! Also, some fabrics to avoid: flannel, tweed, cashmere, wool, and silk (which may be light and luxurious, but it also shows major sweat stains!) Stick with light colors and light fabrics like cotton, nylon, or linen to keep cool. Better yet? Throw on a bathing suit and head to the pool!

Light and thin fabrics like this will keep you cool

5) Turn on your ceiling fans. Whether you’re currently in the house or out, leave your ceiling fans running and let it do most of the work. It will circulate the cool air and remove some of the burden from your AC.

Keep the cool air circulating in your house by leaving your ceiling fans running

6) Get out of the house. The best way to avoid spending money on your AC bill this summer is to get out of the house during the hottest hours of the day. Enjoy the benefits of someone else’s air conditioning! Some inexpensive ideas to keep cool during the summer (while giving your air conditioning at home a break): go to a matinee movie, join an inexpensive gym, check out the free days at local museums, head to the public pool, hang out in the library, or even spend some time at the mall. Better yet– go for a swim to cool off!

You can turn your AC off or put it in Energy Saver Mode while you're cooling off at the pool!

7) While You’re Away… Be sure to either turn up your Air Conditioning’s “kick-on” temperature. Personally, I keep mine at 80 when I am away, but I usually don’t get home until the evening when it has cooled off (a tiny bit.) On most AC units you can also choose the “Energy Saver” mode* which will cut its run-time down.

Also, make sure to close your blinds or curtains while you’re away. Sure sunlight looks lovely filtering in through the windows—but hey, you’re not there and it makes it HOT!

*I just started doing this myself and it literally cut my electric bill in half.

Keep curtains closed during the day to keep the sun from heating up your house

8) Upgrade Your Home. Upgrades will cost you a little money upfront, but if you live in a place that gets really hot (like we do!), these upgrades might just be worth it when it comes to saving money on your AC bill.

-       Paint your roof white

-       Paint the outside of your home a lighter color

-       Use solar-reflecting drapes on your windows

-       Use energy-efficient fans instead of AC units

-       Make sure there are no gaps around your windows or doors

Make sure your AC isn't leaking out through small cracks on the outside of windows or doors

Do you have any other ideas to save money while keeping cool during the summer? Any summer movie recommendations? Share your thoughts below!

Sources: MuseumFreeDays.com, JCPenny.com, Energystar.gov, AllYou.com, FatWallet.com

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