With hundreds of people dying of heat stroke every year and many thousands more suffering heat exhaustion, staying cool isn’t just about comfort.

Keeping cool and hydrated in the summer is a matter of good health as much as it is about feeling comfortable. Knowing how to keep your house cool doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg in air conditioning bills if you do it right.

Here are three ways to keep your house cool when temperatures start to climb.

1. Fans Are Your Friend

The best thing to do is to keep the air flowing through your house during the summer months. When it starts to get hot out, it’s wise to use fans before you fire up the AC. Set them up in your windows, connecting the flow from one room to the next, and build a wind tunnel through your house.

Fans cost less to run and can be just as effective as AC if used creatively. If you have a clean, finished basement, blow the cooler air from downstairs up into the main floor. If you’re going to be spending time on the upper floors of your home, blow the air upstairs from a lower floor.

2. Drapes Help a Lot

While you might think that as soon as it gets hot out, it’s time to take down your big thick drapes, they can help you in summer months. If one of the main things heating your home is direct sunlight in the morning, you should consider drapes in your window to keep the sun out.

Blocking or absorbing light as soon as it passes through your window will keep your home from overheating. This, combined with that fan action, will keep the air flowing and keep your home at a cooler temperature.

3. Try Landscaping

Rather than using more electricity, via a fan, why not try cooling your home with the help of nature. Outdoor plants that block the sun from hitting your windows directly in the summer could keep you cool all summer long.

Bushes and trees that block the sun and provide shade could be exactly what you need to cool your house in the summer. They also offer lots of birdwatching and a shady place to take a glass of lemonade all summer long.

Combine that with the cleaner air they provide, planting a tree might be one of the best ways to cool down your home for years to come. It may take some time to reap the rewards, but it will be worth it.

Knowing How To Keep Your House Cool Saves Money

If you figure out how to keep your house cool without racking up a high energy bill, you could be spending that money on more exciting things than sitting inside. You could fund a vacation, trips to the beach, or a steady supply of ice cream. You could even change your wardrobe and get some lighter clothing

For even more ways to keep cool throughout the summer, check out our guide for more info.