With the dog days of August upon us, families across the nation are relying more than ever on electric air conditioning to keep cool. A blast of AC can be a lifesaver on a hot day, but if you enjoy too much cold air, you can end up draining your bank account to pay the energy bills. Fortunately, there are other actions that budget-conscious households can take to keep cool and reduce the need to constantly run the electric air conditioning. Follow these tips to beat the heat on a budget:

Aim for Passive Cooling: Do what you can to keep the house cool without resorting to electric air conditioning. Use curtains strategically to block out the sun during the day, then open the windows on cooler nights to allow hot air to escape. Open windows on opposite sides of your home so air can circulate through. And turn the lights off during the day so you aren’t creating any unnecessary heat energy.

  • Use Fans for Better Air Circulation: Fans don’t actually lower the temperature in your home, but they do make you feel cooler by moving the air around. Run a ceiling fan in occupied rooms, and use floor fans to create a breeze through your home. Fans do use some electricity, but not nearly as much as your electric air conditioning.
  • Take a Shower, Then Another: A quick dip under a cold shower will bring immediate cooling effects, which should linger while the water evaporates from your body. If you start to overheat, just jump back under the cold water. Even a few seconds under the faucet can make a big difference, and by keeping the showers short and sweet, you won’t run up your water bill.
  • Try Sleeping with Dampened Sheets: The thought of any bedding at all on a hot night doesn’t sound very pleasant, but if you dampen a thin sheet and place it over you, especially if there is a breeze or fan in the room, it can keep you cool long enough to fall asleep comfortably.
  • Go to the Park or Swimming Pool: Frequently, being outside is more comfortable than holing up in a stifling hot house. Spend a day in a shaded forest or relaxing in the community pool so you can stay cool without running up the electricity bill.
    Maximize Your AC

Sometimes the heat gets too oppressive and you need to run the electric air conditioning no matter how many mitigating actions you take. In that case, make sure that your AC unit receives regular maintenance and that you keep the air filters clean so that your machine operates at peak performance and efficiency. If you need any help maintaining or repairing your electric air conditioning system, call up an expert HVAC technician today.