Beat the heat without breaking the budget

DUBBO residents battling with the scorching summer heat can keep cool without breaking the bank.

The fight to escape the heat is a challenge for residents who struggle with double-digit electricity price hikes and soaring power bills.

Dubbo City Council manager of environmental control Debbie Archer said the best way to keep cool was to utilise community facilities like libraries and galleries.

"This way you don't have to pay to keep cool," she said.

Residents who stayed home should close the windows and blinds to keep the heat outside.

It may sound like commonsense but it was important to leave the ironing and cooking in the oven to the cooler times of the day instead of the middle of the day, she said.

Mrs Archer said she used evaporative cooling and encouraged residents to look at how they could keep their appliances energy efficient at home.

"If you have items that are always plugged in and on, switch it off and you can have the airconditioner on for longer," she said.

A save power kit was available at the Macquarie Regional Library to all residents to self test their appliances at home.

Although the humble fan was the most economical way to keep cool "they didn't always cut it with the extreme heat."

The Daily Liberal investigated the cost of several cooling machines residents used to escape the heat.

Residents who used ducted airconditioning for only eight hours a day would pay a whopping $314.40 a month while those who used an exhaust fan would pay less than a cup of coffee.

Mrs Archer said there were simple ways to beat the heat without "paying an arm and a leg".

"You can go for a swim in the river to cool off," she said.

"Use water sprays to keep cool as it adds moisture to your body and with the fan it is the cheapest way."

Nothing beats drinking bottles of water and ensuring the body is well hydrated during the summer heat.

Mrs Archer reminded residents to switch off the airconditioner at night and use a fan.

"The weather outside could be cooler so open your windows," she said.

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