Now that temperatures are climbing into the 90s and beyond, you can be sure that water and electric bills will rise along with them.

But ABC-7 went searching recently for a cheaper way to stay cool this summer.

The El Paso Extreme Weather Task Force said this area saw two heat-related deaths last summer: a 52-year-old man and a 5-month-old girl. But it turns out that tragedies like these can be prevented without spending hundreds on a new air conditioning unit -- you can do it for less than $15.

"Anything for 15 bucks," said Andy Venegas, 67. "Might as well give it a try."

He said the heat gets to him a lot quicker nowadays.

"If I'm outside, I'll start feeling dizzy, since I have high blood pressure," Venegas said.

Venegas said he spends a few hours a day at the Polly Harris Senior Center on the west side, partly to check email.

"And because it's real cool inside," Venegas said.

But ABC-7 told him he's only a hardware-store run away from having, at his fingertips, chilled air -- cheap.

"If I would have known that, I would have done it a long time ago," Venegas said.

Pick up the following:


(1) 5-gallon plastic all-purpose bucket w/lid

(1) 32-inch by 12-inch, 1-inch-thick styrofoam board

(1) 10-inch diameter circular 1-inch-thick styrofoam board

(3) 1.5-inch internal diameter, 2-inch length PVC pipes

(1) 5-inch personal fan


(1) basket saw

(1) 2.25-inch basket saw bit

(1) box cutter

(1) frozen gallon water jug

(1) pair of safety goggles


1. Use the basket saw to cut three holes in the side of the bucket, roughly three inches apart