Beating the Heat Without Breaking the Bank This Summer

Written by Nicole Kohn  |  15. July 2013

Every year it is the same routine. After a cold winter, the sun starts to come out, bathing suits are taken out of storage and you find yourself breaking the bank trying to battle the heat of summer. So this year, why not change that?
These days, energy efficiency comes in all shapes and sizes. From appliances and air conditioners to conserving water and electricity - the choices you make for your home on a daily basis can have a big impact on your budget, as well as the environment. There are plenty of free and economical things to do where you can cool down and have fun. In addition to saving money at home this summer, getting an Empire Pass is a great inexpensive way to get out and enjoy the summer sun without breaking the bank. 
From enjoying public swimming pools and beaches, to changing some things around your household, this summer can be low-cost, relaxing, and better yet, a cool and comfortable one for you and your family. 
Energy Conservation 
Room air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from a room and are one of the essential things needed to get through a hot summer. The ENERGY STAR Program was established by EPA in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act Section 103(g). Section103(g) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to "conduct a basic engineering research and technology program to develop, evaluate, and demonstrate non–regulatory strategies and technologies for reducing air pollution." 
ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners have high efficiency compressors and fan motors, and utilize advanced heat transfer technologies that make them use 10% less energy than conventional models. Not only are they energy efficient, but many of these ENERGY STAR air conditioners have advanced features such as timers, remote controls and directional vents, providing energy efficiency in a  more convenient way. 
  • By replacing your conventional model A/C with a ENERGY STAR one, you can save an average of $50 in energy cost over the life of the unit, according to LIPA’s website
  • Keeping windows closed when AC is on to keep the cold air inside your home or car 
  • Run fans to keep air circulating throughout your home. This help when the A/C is not on but it is still fairly cool in your home. 
  •  Remember to keep in mind that when you're shopping for a new A/C, bigger isn't always cooler! Be sure to check out the appliances ratings and reviews to see how other buyers liked the product.
In addition to the heat, with summer comes allergies, and this year allergy season is shaping up to be a long and severe one. And if you have an old dehumidifier on, all that is going to do is reduce the amount of cash you have in your wallet because it is not likely going to do the job. Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air, helping to reduce allergy symptoms, musty odors, and condensation. ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifiers exceed requirements for energy efficiency, as they offer more efficient refrigeration coils, compressors, and fans than convection models, according to LIPA.
ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifiers remove the same amount of moisture from the air as a conventional model but use 15% less energy.
An ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier can save consumers about $175 over the lifetime of the unit.
When it is hot and humid and you don’t want to go far to cool off, having a pool in your backyard is really convenient. But for those who find themselves spending a lot of money during the summer, trying to keep up with the responsibilities of owning a pool, can be hard to handle. But there are ways to make some problems disappear while reducing some costs. 
For those of you who have an older single speed pool pump, replace it with a variable-speed or two-speed pump, and save energy and bring down costs while enjoying your pool! These swimming pool pumps operate at the lowest speed necessary to filter the pool. By reducing the speed of the pump it actually uses far less energy and power needed than older, less efficient models. 
With kids out of school, parents often struggle to figure out how to fill their days without spending a fortune. And if you are a parent that works full-time, summer time can be even more costly. In spite of this, there are several ways to minimize expenses when it comes to childcare and entertainment, whether you’re a stay at home parent, or the kids are headed to camp this summer. 
Summer camps are a great place for kids to have some fun while learning, during which someone is keeping an eye on them while you’re at work. While some summer camps can be expensive, most of them are not. Many towns run affordable summer camps through their recreational department, community center or YMCA. Call your township office or city government to find out what camps are nearest you.
Remember that the length of the camp determines its cost, so be sure to figure out whether half days or full days are more practical for you and your budget. Many churches and other religious institutions run affordable summer camps, as do zoos, museums and aquariums.
When many people think of summertime fun, they think of the calming sound of a sprinkler while keeping the lawn green during the summer. It can also be a great inexpensive source of fun, being that it’s a way to cool off and provide hours of fun for kids on a hot summer day. But it can slightly increase your water bill. If your kids want to cool off and you don’t have a pool, there are many public pools in the area that are open for use. 
Living in a place that is surrounded by water has its perks, and in the summertime we can put those perks to good use. Why go away this summer to Florida or Cancun, or a tropical island that has a beach when you live so close to one? Save the money you would have spent on flight tickets for your family and rent a house on one of the many beaches on Long Island.
When it comes to beating the heat, some forget how strong the sun is and what it can do to their bodies. Heat exhaustion is a very common illness in the summer which occurs when the body responds to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. People who are prone to heat exhaustion ,according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are those who are elderly, have high blood pressure and workers who work in hot environments. 
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea
  • Clammy, moist skin
  • Pale or flushed complexion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
  • Fast and shallow breathing
If you, or anyone else, has symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, if possible in an air conditioned room. If you find yourself not able to get indoors, find the nearest cool and shady place to sit. 
Other ways include:
  • Drink plenty of water ( avoid anything with caffeine and alcohol)
  • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing 
  • Take a cool shower or bath
  • Applying other methods such as fans or a cold compress. 
The risk of heat-related illness dramatically increases when the heat index increases to 90 degrees or more. So it is very important --especially during heat waves-- to pay close attention to reported heat index, and to remember that the heat index increases when you are standing in direct sunlight.
With that being said, beating the cost of summer is only half the battle.
Make sure to hydrate and stay safe.     

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