If you live in Phoenix, you know just how difficult the summers can be. With temperatures averaging well above 100 degrees, most residents spend a lot of time inside their homes. While inside their houses, homeowners want to feel comfortable and safe; however, with air conditioner units running constantly, many don't have enough money for high-priced security systems. If you're a Phoenix resident trying to balance your security needs with a strict financial budget, there are a couple of strategies you can employ.

Reduce your energy consumption

In Phoenix, the average summer highs fall between 104 and 106 degrees, with nighttime lows between 78 and 83. These harsh temperatures make it unreasonable for homeowners to live without air conditioning, regardless of high energy costs. Although most every Phoenix resident spends a significant amount of money cooling his or her house, smart homeowners reduce this cost by making their homes more energy efficient.

Painting contractors will tell you that the color of a home has a lot to do with how much energy it uses. In colder climates, homeowners are encouraged to choose a dark color of paint, because it tends to absorb sunlight, which naturally warms the home and reduces heating costs. The opposite is true of places like Phoenix.

By painting your house a lighter color, you can actually keep it cooler. Since light colors reflect sunlight, they are ideal for homes in hot, sunny cities. If your home is painted a dark brown or green, consider changing its color to beige or white. This can have a surprising effect on electric bills, saving homeowners thousands of dollars over the lives of their mortgages. You can also install window sunscreens which help cool homes by reflecting UV rays. These useful shades also provide privacy and make homes feel more secure.

Choose a less expensive security system

Even if you can't afford an expensive electronic security system complete with third-party monitoring, you can still make your home safer. An iron gate company can install security doors and windows that will protect your valuables while you're away and keep intruders out when you are home.

These days, some iron gate companies manufacture customized designs that blend nicely with the rest of your home's appearance. This is especially nice for homeowners who want to feel secure without having to live in something that looks more like a compound than an actual home.