I recently shared an article from Realtor.com on Facebook about choosing the right AC unit for you. And now that June-uary is over for us in the Pacific Northwest, it’s time to start thinking about how we are going to stay cool.

Having lived in three different homes with three different cooling options here in #VanWA, I wanted to share my experience with the various options discussed in the article linked above.

Window air conditioners were not a big success for me. Both times that we used them, we were trying to cool a space that was too large for the unit. If you decide to go the window unit route, make sure you are using it in a contained space that it will be able to cool. Otherwise, you may end up like me, building yourself a blanket fort in front of the until on those rare hundred-degree days that we get… they may be few, but they are mighty.

My current home has central air, which is a blessing (so cool!) and a curse (that electric bill, tho!). We lived without central air for many years, but now that we have it we tend to abuse it. In my defense, though, our home does not get a good cross breeze and when it’s hot outside, we really feel it. But if you have forced air heat and have decided you need a cooling solution, central air is by far the best way to cool your home, and if the duct work is already in place you’re halfway there.

We added some living space to our home (garage conversion) and were not able to affordably install ducting to bring the central air into that area, so we went with a portable AC unit. There is no window convenient for placement in the space, so we added a duct (think dryer vent with no dryer) and attach the unit there. It works surprisingly well and cools the 650 square foot space better than I had expected.

The last cooling solution discussed in the article is the ductless mini split. While I do not have personal experience with this one, I’ve spent a lot of time with them as they are very popular in our area right now in new construction. They seem to be a great solution for the price and do a good job at cooling, but keep in mind without the ducting (remember, ductless) you’re not going to get those cooling benefits in the rooms where the unit is not.

And when all else fails, maybe you just need to get out of the house! I also shared this article from ClarkCountyTalk.com: 5 Places to Cool Off around Clark County. This summer I plan to check out Alderbrook Park for the first time, it looks like a lot of fun!

The water fountain at Esther Short Park is a popular spot for a quick cool down for the little ones in your life. And if you happened to catch my Facebook Live video taken on my behind-the-scenes tour of the new Waterfront Development, then I’ll bet you are as excited as I am for the beautiful interactive water feature that will be part of the Renaissance Trail!

Stay cool, Vancouver!