It's no secret, we all know it's hot (in fact, if I see another picture of someone's dashboard thermometer on Facebook, I might scream), but how do you handle the heat?

Are you one to push through it and just open the windows, or do you crank up the air conditioning?

When it gets this hot, if you have A/C, you almost don't have a choice. But do you run it 24/7 or only when you really need the cool (i.e. to sleep)? Because let's be honest, it's not cheap to run the A/C.

Here's how I usually handle it - because of my dog, I do have to keep the air conditioning on when I'm not home. My place faces the woods, so I don't have sun pounding in the windows all day long. Usually, if I keep the blinds closed too, it's not too hot in the house. But I set the thermostat at 80, figuring that the air will kick on a few times during the day (and I always keep plenty of fresh water available for the pup).

At night during the Summer I can usually get away with running the ceiling fan and small box fan in the bedroom, with nice cool sheets on the bed (although I do have a memory foam mattress, which tends to hold in body heat, one of the few drawbacks to the extra-comfortable beds). One of the many advantages we have to living in Ocean County is that it can get nice and cool at night when it's not too humid, so it's also possible to crack a window a lot of the time. But when it's humid and warm at night, I'll occasionally set the A/C to 80 just so I can at least get a decent night's sleep.

Although, strangely, I have a neighbor who seems to run their A/C from about March to October. Even when it hits the 50s at night, I'll hear their A/C unit kick on (which just happens to be right below my bedroom window, of course).

The office is a whole different story...at this place we can go from a sauna to a meat locker in a matter of minutes. That's a whole different post!

So how do you handle the Summer heat when it gets oppressive like it has been the last few days? Leave a comment below and tell us how you keep cool!