In the summertime, running an air conditioner to keep cool can cause a significant increase in your energy bills. The amount you spend, which could range from $100 to $500 per month, depends on factors such as your location, the size of your home, and how hot it gets.
If you are concerned about high cooling expenses or if you don’t have an air conditioning system, there are various cost-effective ways to keep yourself cool. You don’t need to worry as we have discovered methods that won’t require you to spend much money.
Why Extreme Heat Can Be Dangerous
Have you been experiencing hot weather lately? Extreme heat refers to a prolonged period of temperatures over 90 degrees. When combined with humidity, heat can become even more intense, making it a significant health hazard for older adults, children, and those with health conditions such as heart disease during summertime heat waves.
The US Department of Homeland Security reports that extreme heat causes more deaths each year than any other weather-related danger. It is important to know how to identify the symptoms of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
- High body temperature (above 103 degrees)
- Red, hot, or flushed skin
- Rapid pulse
- Dizziness or confusion
- Muscle cramps
- Severe sweating
- Paleness and weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fainting or unconsciousness
If you are experiencing symptoms of heat illness, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Take shelter in the shade and try to stay cool until help arrives. If you think you may have heat stroke, avoid consuming any beverages, especially those containing alcohol until medical professionals can evaluate your condition.
8 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Beat the Heat
- Find a cooling center.
- Go for a swim.
- Cool off at the mall.
- Housesit during hot weather.
- Go to the movies.
- Check out the library or a museum.
- Hang out at a coffee shop.
1. Find a Cooling Center
During heat events, communities can find relief at air-conditioned cooling centers located throughout the country. Additionally, many cooling centers allow pets.
To find a cooling center near you, you can check the National Center for Health Housing. Alternatively, you can dial 2-1-1 in most states to be connected with resources that provide relief from the heat.
2. Go for a Swim
If you want to cool off on a hot afternoon, you can try dipping your body in cold water. You can check your city or county website to find free or discounted community pools, splash pads, or water parks.
To beat the heat, consider going to a lake or beach at a local state park. Just make sure that the area is marked safe for swimming. Also, plan to spend time outdoors early in the morning when it’s cooler. Remember to protect your skin from the sun by wearing loose, light clothes, a wide-brimmed hat, and applying sunscreen generously.
3. Cool Off at the Mall
Indoor malls offer more than just a place for mall rats to hang out. They provide a vast air-conditioned space and great opportunities to people-watch. Check out the indoor malls in your area, and you might be able to relax and even use the free Wi-Fi.
4. Housesit During Hot Weather
If you are hesitant to use the AC in your own home, consider using someone else’s house as your own personal oasis instead.
Spending your summer doing housesitting can be an excellent way to earn some extra money and stay in a comfortable place at the same time.
5. Go to the Movies
Although going to the movies is not free, you can save money by purchasing cheap tickets for matinee shows. To make the most of your time in the theaters, arrive an hour early and stay until the credits are finished.
6. Check Out the Library or a Museum
Libraries are great places in the community where you can escape the sun, use free Wi-Fi, and find various free materials to borrow, like board games and sewing patterns.
During the summer, if you live near a city, it is likely that there are air-conditioned museums that offer free or discounted admission days.
7. Hang Out at a Coffee Shop
Although it may seem counterintuitive to enjoy a hot cup of coffee during the summer, it’s important to remember that coffee shops also offer a variety of cold drinks to choose from.
Drinking iced beverages while reading a book or checking emails at a leisurely pace is an affordable and enjoyable way to stay cool.
8. Stay Hydrated
During the upcoming heat wave, stay hydrated whether you stay at home or go out at someone else’s expense. It is also wise to avoid rigorous physical activities, particularly outdoors, and wear loose and lightweight clothing.
Don’t forget that if you feel hot in your house, your pets are probably feeling it worse. Ensure that they have sufficient water, shade, and access to a cool indoor area if possible.
How to Beat the Heat at Home
Would you like to beat the heat this summer? Consider weatherizing your home by adding insulation and weather stripping on doors and windows. This will help maximize the energy efficiency of your home.
To stay cool, it’s recommended to keep your drapes and blinds closed and possibly use heat reflectors on your windows. While fans can help increase airflow, they don’t have a significant effect on reducing temperatures.