With this weekend's heat wave, we can say that Summer is officially upon us. Nothing beats being outside, surrounded by nature while soaking up rays and when the heat gets to be too much, a place with air conditioning is where you want to be. If you are looking for ways to cool your home, there are a few things you can do before making a investment in air conditioning unit. Shade your home from sun with blinds or fabric curtains, keep all windows open, using window screens to kept out mosquitos and other insects. And the more obvious is fans. They are a smart, inexpensive option to cool your home and can be easier on the environment. But with temperatures expected to rise, your next option is an air-conditioner.

With so many air conditioning units on the market, be sure to do your research. Talk to your family, friends, store experts, and ask a lot of questions. There are some air-conditioners that can be easily installed on your own, but others require a bit more work. Choosing a quality contractor to install the system is equally as important as choosing the right air-conditioner. Ask about the installation process, materials to be used, and the maintenance required to keep the system running at efficiency. Hydro and maintenance costs should be considered too, as those are costs that will likely come at a later date.

Another factor to consider when purchasing an air-conditioner is where you live. Living in a apartments or townhome community is a unique life-style, so to not disturb your neighbours, be sure to consider how much noise the air-conditioning system will make and where it will be installed.

And, if an air-conditioning system is out of your budget or not an option where you live, there are plenty of public places to cool off in your city from community centres to malls or movie theatres - at least we can all happily say summer is here!