We all want to be comfortably cool when the weather turns really hot, so how can we do that without it costing too much?

A cheap to run cooler is the answer to that question when the household budget is tight but personal comfort is still important.

So let's take a look at what can keep us cool cheaply by using less energy, but still effectively by outputting plenty of cold air.

Evaporative Coolers

Without a doubt, the cheapest way to stay cool during those hot summer days is to jump into a river or lake, but not everyone lives near a free swimming resource like that!

Neither is it a viable solution for when you're at home but it's too hot to do anything except lay on a hammock and waft the warm air across you with a fan and let your own perspiration do all the work of cooling you down.

But wait.

If we take that concept of perspiration and moving air to keep us cool, why doesn't somebody invent a device that can mimic that process and cool the whole room down instead?

Luckily, that has already happened.

The portable evaporative cooler already exists and is on sale at a hardware store near you right this minute! Or if you can't get to a hardware store, you can buy them online from a variety of well known vendors like Home Depot, Sears, Wal-Mart, Lowes and Amazon.

Air Conditioning

Of course, the most common solution to battling the heat is to crank up the air conditioning and relax as the indoor climate condition changes from "Sauna" to "Antarctic" in a matter of minutes.

That's great if you can afford the next energy bill that will reflect the insane power usage your home's AC system swallows up all by itself.

However, many people are finding it more and more difficult to be able to afford the high cost of grid power these days as utility prices just keep on rising to astronomical levels.

That means AC may be the most convenient and most powerful way to keep cool indoors, but its affordability is outside the price range of many regular household budgets these days. So we need cheaper alternatives and that leads us back to the cheap and cheerful evaporative or "swamp" cooler!

Why Are Evaporative Coolers So Cheap to Run?

The reason swamp coolers are so much cheaper than air conditioners to run lies in the way that the two very different appliances work.

AC is very energy intensive because it needs to compress a refrigerating gas and force air across a cold grid to produce the cold air. Unfortunately, that process also produces an equal amount of hot, moisture rich air that needs to be vented to the outside.

And that requires an additional appliance to extract the hot, moist air, which also uses a lot of electricity. This is the condenser unit that you'll often see mounted outside a house on a convenient wall, or on the ground if its a big one.

Similarly, a portable air conditioner needs a vent hose to exhaust the hot air out a window or suitable port in an exterior wall. That process also uses additional energy to pump the hot air out through the exhaust hose.

On the other hand...

Evaporative coolers don't have any form of refrigeration mechanics inside them, nor much of anything that would use energy to make it work.

The design employs a simple tank of water that is absorbed by a porous membrane through which is passed air at room temperature by a simple fan. The water is evaporated, chilling the air that passes through it just like perspiration chills our skin when a breeze passes over it.

Out comes cold air that cools the room enough to make it comfortable without being too cold. And there we have a way to stay cool without using a great deal of electricity to achieve it. We can be comfortable and our bank account stays healthy too!