by Paul Sanders
You can beat the heat without sending your air conditioning costs through the roof. Just use a portable air conditioner to keep areas of your home cool. Air conditioners work by using either evaporative cooling or refrigerant compressors to cool air. Instead of cooling the entire house, a small, portable air conditioner cools the room you're in at the moment. Even if you have a central air conditioner for your home, you can still benefit from using portable air conditioners.
The garage or workshop: Install an air conditioning unit in your garage or workshop. Typically, the garage is cut off from the rest of the home's heating and air conditioning system. Slip your portable air conditioner in, close the garage door and create a cool area to work in.
The kitchen: The kitchen can get pretty warm when you're preparing food and moving about. Keep the windows shaded and move your portable air conditioner next to your work area to help things cool down.
The bedroom: Since you'll be in your room for the night, you can turn off the central air in your home and just use the portable air conditioner. You'll stay cool and save significantly on your energy bills.
The shaded side of the house: Portable air conditioners work more efficiently when they're not in direct sunlight. If you're using a window unit, make sure it's on the shady side of your home, so it won't have to work so hard or use so much energy.
Keep windows, blinds and doors closed when you're using a portable air conditioner in a room. You'll keep sunlight from heating up the room and keep cold air from escaping.
If your portable air conditioner is a window unit, make sure there are no gaps around the edges of the window sill that will let hot air into your house.