During the summertime, an air conditioner is the best way to keep cool from the sun, but it can also be more expensive to run. To help prevent you from breaking the bank while using your AC this summer, or if you don’t have AC, here are some ways to stay cool as the temperatures rise:

• Keep the sunlight out of your home –Throughout the day, you’ll want to keep your blinds or curtains shut to prevent the sun from heating your home. As the temperature cools off, opening a window will not only help let out some of the heat inside your home but will help cool it down.

• Drink lots of water –Keep cold bottles of water around as your body needs water to deal with hot temperatures. When exposed to hot temperatures, your body can lose water through sweating. You’ll want to drink water even when you don’t feel thirsty to keep your body temperature regulated and replace lost fluids in your body due to the heat.

• Dress appropriately –Loose, lightweight clothing is ideal on any hot day. It’s best to wear light-colored clothing as lighter colors will reflect the sun and help you stay cool while darker colors will absorb heat and increase your body temperature.

• Avoid cooking inside -If you plan on cooking on a humid day, you’ll want to cook early in the morning or cook outside. The heat from the stove burners and oven will instantly add more humidity to your home, making it harder to cool off throughout the day. Investing in an outdoor stovetop or using a grill are the best alternatives to prepare meals.

• Use cool towels -You can use a towel to wipe your sweat, but using a damp towel can help bring your body temperature down when you feel like you’re overheating. Strategically place the towel on areas like your wrist, back of the neck and back of the knee, which will make it easier to cool down. There are also products like cooling pillows and cooling blankets to help you stay cool throughout warm nights. Another alternative is taking a cool shower before bed, which will lower your core temperature and provide a refreshing feeling.

And don’t forget your furry family members. Most of these tips can be used to keep them cool, too!