Inexpensive air conditioning alternatives to beat the summer heat

The thought of turning on the air conditioner fills some people with dread

There’s nothing better than entering a nice air-conditioned house after being outside on a hot summer day. That is, unless you pay the bills and would like to have money left after paying said bills.

The thought of turning on the air conditioner fills some people with dread. Yes, it’s a great way to cool down, but it turns the electricity bill into a nightmare. Unfortunately, when summer hits full swing, it’s basically a necessity.

There are alternatives, however. There are several ways to keep a house cool when the temperatures rise.

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A simple way to do it is to keep the attic from becoming too hot. On warm days, attics can feel like ovens and if that warmth seeps into the rest of the house, it can make things uncomfortable quickly. Installing an attic fan can push this warm air out and provide a consistent breeze inside the house, U.S. News reports.

However, while this can be effective on warm days, if the temperature gets too hot, an attic fan won’t provide much help — meaning you may want to add more fans to the mix, like a whole-house fan.

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Whole-house fans may not be cheap to install, but they are less expensive than central air-condition units. They also use significantly less power to run, which will greatly help with the electric bill. These fans are installed in the attic and pull air from the outside through vents placed throughout the house. It provides attic ventilation and cools down the entire house.

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Another way, without a fan, to prevent the house from becoming too warm is by installing reflective film or solar screens over the windows, Money Crashers explains. These materials filter out a significant amount of heat without completely obscuring the view from the window (as opposed to light-blocking shades, which totally obscure a window).

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Of course, there are even simpler ways to stay during the summer. There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep during a hot night and if you really don’t want to break the bank, try chilling your pillowcase in the fridge before bed. Sure, it won’t last all night, but it’ll feel cool when the electric bill comes.