When summer temperatures soar, you may be ready to turn in and stay in the air conditioning until October. You'll eventually need to venture outside, though, so having a few tips for staying cool in the heat can help you when temperatures and humidity levels rise. These eight ways to stay cool in the heat are inexpensive and easy to do, so read on to figure out your summer strategy.
Drink plenty of water
The first and most important tip for beating the heat is to cool yourself down by staying hydrated. As you sweat and become dehydrated, your body temperature rises, so you can stay cool by drinking plenty of water. Consider spritzing yourself with water, too. Your body will cool down as the water droplets evaporate.
Make a long-lasting cold compress
A cold compress is a great way to keep yourself cool. You'll need a sock, rubber band, and rice. Fill the sock with rice and close it with a rubber band. Freeze it for a few hours, then put the cold sock in your bed on hot nights. The rice will stay cool while you fall asleep. You can also put the cold sock on your neck, in an armpit, or across your forehead to beat the heat.
Work smarter, not harder
Consider the workday in parts of the world with consistent extreme heat. Communities near the equator shut down for siesta when the sun is at its peak, doing most of their work in the early and late hours of the day. If you must work outside when temperatures soar, try to get your work done as the sun rises and sets. A top tip for staying cool in the heat is to take time to relax when the temperatures and humidity levels become oppressive.
Use your fans smartly
Fans can keep the air moving and help you stay cool to beat the summer heat, and they may even help you avoid using your air conditioning. On the warmer side of your home, face your fan out of the window. On the cooler side, face the fan inward. You'll get cooler air moving into your home and push the uncomfortable air out. Ceiling fans can also help keep temperatures down, but only when the fan turns counter-clockwise.
If your fans need help, try a trick common in hot, dry areas like the Desert Southwest: Hang a damp sheet in the window where a breeze enters your home. As the hot air enters your home, the water on the sheet evaporates and cools the air coming inside.
Entertain yourself with winter stories
Take your mind off of the heat by reading or watching stories set in cold weather. Your brain will imagine the frigid climate and make you cool down for a while. A few titles to consider: " Call of the Wild" by Jack London, "Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah, and "Misery" by Stephen King.
Cool down your meals
Your appliances generate significant heat. On the hottest days, avoid using your oven to make your meals. Instead, opt for meals like green salads and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Consider eating foods that are easy to digest so your body does not need to create more heat during the digestive process. Try these body-cooling, easy-to-digest foods on the hottest summer days:
- Leafy greens
- Coconut water or milk
Avoid heavy, hard-to-digest foods that warm your body, like heavily processed foods high in sugar. Diuretics like coffee, alcoholic beverages, and sodas contribute to dehydration. While burgers on the grill might be a temptation on the hottest days, the high protein levels make them harder to digest compared to cool salads and fresh fruits and veggies.
Maintain your HVAC system and air ducts
Your HVAC system is the key to keeping your home cool. This complicated system relies on several components to function properly, and homeowners often do not realize there's a problem until the system stops working. Help your HVAC system by having it inspected and maintained by a professional.
Experts recommend having your furnace inspected in the fall and your air conditioning inspected in the spring. You can help by changing your HVAC filters seasonally to keep clean air flowing. Consider having your air ducts cleaned to get better performance out of your HVAC system.
Monitor your home's interior temperature
You can't always be at home to monitor its temperature, but technology can do it for you. Notion Sensors work in conjunction with Nest or Ecobee smart thermostats to reduce your energy usage when you're away. For example, if your Notion Sensor notices you've left a window open, the sensor uses IFTTT (If This, Then That) technology to change the settings on your smart thermostats. You'll save money on your utility bills, and after you close the window, your thermostat will readjust to make your home comfortably cool again.