Using any or all of these strategies will help keep you cool. Even if you use air conditioning, many of these strategies, particularly reflecting heat and shading, will help reduce the energy costs of running an air conditioner.
However, adopting all of these strategies may not be enough. Sometimes you need to supplement natural cooling with mechanical devices. Fans and evaporative coolers can supplement your cooling strategies and cost less to install and run than air conditioners.
Ceiling fans make you feel cooler. Their effect is equivalent to lowering the air temperature by about 4?F (2?C). Evaporative coolers use about one-fourth the energy of conventional air conditioners.
Many utility companies offer rebates and other cost incentives when you purchase or install energy-saving products, such as insulation and energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Contact your local utility company to see what it offers in the way of incentives.