With many parts of the country suffering from record-breaking temperatures, it’s more important than ever to take whatever steps possible to keep ourselves–and our families–cool. The following are a few suggestions for keeping the heat at bay. It’s interesting to note that many of the suggestions–those involving the avoidance of using electronic and mechanical devices–will also save you money on your electric or fuel bills!
- If possible, avoid outdoor activities–especially those that require physical exertion.
- If you absolutely MUST complete outdoor tasks during extremely hot weather, do so in the early morning hours (until 10 a.m.) or after 7 p.m. (These hours are approximate. Be aware of current heat advisories–because they may extend beyond these hours.)
- Avoid cutting the grass or using other power equipment–these items add heat to the environment, require a lot of exertion from YOU to operate, and contribute to poor air quality during hot weather.
- Use strong fans–either ceiling-mounted or portable ones–to create a breeze in your home. This will help your body to cool down.
- Wet your hair. This will make you feel substantially cooler. (I’ve even even had to use this method at my office job, where the air conditioning leaves something to be desired. In this case, I wet parts of my hair, rather than the whole head, so it would be less obvious.)
- Brush a cold, wet washcloth across your skin, repeating as necessary. Wet skin cools you down faster.
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of ice cold water.
- Pull your hair back from your face, if possible. Up in a high pony tale that keeps your hair off your skin, where it will hold head, is ideal.
- Avoid using TVs or other electronics–the heat these items use may normally not catch your attention, but it can be a noticeable problem.
- Don’t use your clothes dryer during hot weather. Instead, set up a clothing line in your yard and take advantage of the hot weather to dry your clothes.
- Leave the vacuuming for another day–vacuum and steam cleaners can add a significant amount of heat to your home.
- Leave the lights off, whenever you can. Florescent light bulbs will heat your home less than standard incandescent bulbs–but lights of any kind will contribute to the heat somewhat.
- Keep shades and curtains closed to keep out sun that will heat your home.
- Wear lightweight, loose cotton clothing–the less clothing, the better!
- Keep those feet bare–socks or slippers will hold in heat.
- Take a dip in the pool.
- Avoid cooking anything, especially during the hottest times of the day (about 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) because this will add a lot of heat to your home. Boiling water is a double no-no because it both creates heat AND adds moisture to the air. (If you must cook, try to limit yourself to the microwave oven.)
- Run a few inches of cold water in your bathtub and periodically dip your feet and hands.
- Eat small meals, rather than larger ones. (Snacking throughout the day may be even better.) Eating larger amounts of food at a time can make you feel hotter as your body struggles to process the food.
- Eat cold foods like salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit and yogurt rather than hot foods.
- Give the elliptical a break–avoid even indoor exercise to keep cool and to avoid adding heat to your home.
If your air conditioning system just can’t keep up with the heat, you should have your system checked out as soon as possible before it gets worse–or even fails completely. But often, times of hot weather is the worse time to try to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician
- spend the day at a well air-conditioned shopping mall or other public facility such as movie theaters or restaurants
purchasing a portable air conditioning unit or window air conditioners to help supplement your struggling central air system
Order an air conditioner on Amazon
- purchase a dehumidifier. Removing excess moisture from the air in your home can make a substantial difference in how hot it feels in your home, even if the actual temperature is unchanged. (This is because less moisture in the air allows your body to cool itself more efficiently.)
Order a dehumidifier Amazon