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Darlene Rioux says her store can't keep fans and air conditioners in stock. (CBC)

The hot weather is driving many Islanders to stores looking for cool relief.

July was one of the hottest on record for Prince Edward Island, with the mercury hitting 30 degrees five times.

Darlene Rioux says many people turned to her Canadian Tire store looking for ways to stay cool.

"Last year, our main sales were in August. This year it was July. We did run out of fans at one point in time in July," she said.

As soon as fans and air conditioners came in, they disappeared from the store.

"The staff was pulling things off the overheads. They were pulling them out of the warehouse. When they were taking them off the overheads in the warehouse, they didn't even get a chance to put them on the shelves, because customers were just coming in, 'I want it, I want it, I'm hot. I need something. What do you have left?'" said Rioux.

It's a similar story at other hardware stores.

"We've sold out of a lot of units this year in July, which normally we'd have right into August. Window air conditioners especially, there's none left to get," said Jamie Lewis, with Home Hardware Charlottetown.

Lewis can only guess what next year's demand will be. But he says the store has a plan if the shelves are emptied.

"We do have a warehouse that we can draw out of that has extra stock. And as long as they have it, we can pull it into the store in a couple of days time," he said.

While many people are rushing to buy air conditioners, others are finding different ways to keep cool, from swimming to simply opening the windows at night.

Maritime electric says there hasn't been a significant increase in energy use for the month of July. The company says to keep power bills low, customers should make sure their air conditioners are energy efficient and turn the machines off when they're not at home.