How to Stay Cool Without an Air Conditioner: A Beginner’s Guide

The recent heatwave in lots of states doesn't mean you should break the bank

air conditionerSo, here’s a major shocker: It’s hot. It’s really, really hot. That means tonight you will turn on that air conditioner to keep cool, which if you have one or not is a budget-crashing, rite of spring.

Here are four ways you can keep costs down as the temperature increases so that you can stay within your budget and meet your savings goals:

Get a fan: A no-brainer, right? Yes. And still worth mentioning. If you’re an enterprising fan user, you can put it in the window to get a flow of cooler air — if you’re anything like yours truly, sleeping when you’re too warm is a deal-breaker. You can get most solid brands for about $20-$60, which is a fraction of what you’ll pay should you consider giving in to the temptation of getting an AC.

Close your shades and blinds during the day: When the sun is blazing and you’re not home, all the warmth from the sun can make your home feel like a sauna — no matter what time you get back. Do this even if you have an AC; this way it won’t have to work as hard to cool the room down. Trust me, it makes a difference.

Take a cold shower: Getting your body temperature down in the shower after a long, hot day can make you nice and cool right before bed. It sounds kind of primitive but it actually does work (yes, I tried it). And it beats looking at your electric bill at the end of the month wondering how on earth you’re going to take care of it without going over budget.

Drink plenty of water: If you already aren’t in the habit of drinking plenty of water, you’d better learn today. As the weather gets warmer, it’ll be the way your body regenerates itself — the last thing you want to do is pass out from dehydration, sure, but you’ll be able to enjoy the longer, hotter days and the good times (and, well, outdoor drinking) that accompany them.

Stay cool out there.

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