Being unable to afford air conditioning or wanting to save more by using it less is a normal circumstance for some of us.
Usually, in addition to using a few life hacks to stay cool, we would go see a movie, take a dip in the pool or visit an air-conditioned public facility to find some relief from hot summer temperatures.
But the pandemic has rendered those remedies inaccessible in many places. Many are closed for safety precautions, so when the heat becomes unbearable, it could feel like there's no place left to go. However, there are ways to feel comfortable without cranking the air conditioning unit or going without. Here are more than 12 methods for cooling your body and buffering your house from the outside heat.
When you're hot and flushed, hydrating yourself is the first and foremost step to cooling down, said Wendell Porter, a senior lecturer in agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida.
The temperature of the water doesn't matter since your body will heat it, he added. If your body is suffering from heat and needs to cool itself, it can't perform the function without enough moisture.
Take a cold shower or bath
Taking a cold shower or bath helps cool your body by lowering your core temperature.For an extra cool blast, use peppermint soap. The menthol in peppermint oil activates brain receptors that convey whether something you're eating or feeling is cold.
Use cold washrags on your neck or wrists
Place a cold washrag on your wrists or drape it around your neck to cool your body. These pulse points are areas where blood vessels are close to the skin, so you'll cool down more quickly.
Use box fans
Place box fans facing out of the windows of rooms you're spending time in to blow out hot air and replace it with cold air inside.If the weather in your area tends to fall between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the mornings and evenings, open the windows during those times to facilitate a cross-flow ventilation system. The outdoors can pull the hot air from your home, leaving a cooler temperature or bringing in the breeze. Just be sure to close windows as the sun comes out, then open them when the weather is cool again. Usually we might not leave windows open in consideration of crime, but while we're home during this time, this method could be feasible, Porter said. Resting near a fan would reduce just your body temperature.
Close your curtains or blinds
If you have windows that face the sun's direction in the morning through afternoon, close the curtains or blinds over them to keep the sun from coming directly into the house and heating up the inside. You could also install blackout curtains to insulate the room and reduce temperature increases that would happen during the day.
Sleep in breathable linens
Cotton is one of the most breathable materials, so cotton sheets or blankets could help keep you cool through the night.The lower the thread count of the cotton, the more breathable it is because higher thread counts have more weaving per square inch.
Sleep in the basement
If you can't sleep through the night because you're too hot, you may not have to stay in your bedroom. Heat rises, so if you have a lower or basement level in your home, set up a temporary sleeping area there to experience cooler temperatures at night.
Don't refrigerate or freeze blankets or clothing
Common advice for staying cool without air conditioning includes refrigerating or freezing wet socks, blankets or clothing then ringing them out for sleep. But this isn't a good idea. As body heat would soon make everything watery.
Use the exhaust fan in your kitchen and/or bathroom
Flip the switch for the exhaust fan in your kitchen to pull hot air that rises after you cook or in your bathroom to draw out steam after your shower.
Install energy-efficient light bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs generate a higher temperature than LED light bulbs do. To make the switch, watch for sales on energy-efficient bulbs then slowly replace the bulbs in your house, Porter said. Switching light bulbs can save money but won't reduce a lot of heat in the home but if you focus on switching the bulbs in areas you're sitting near, that would make a more noticeable difference.Cook in the morning, with a slow cooker or outside. Oven heat can spread throughout your house. Keep the heat centralized in one area, such as a slow cooker. Or, cook outdoors on a grill to keep the heat outside.
Enjoy frozen treats
Eating an ice pop or ice cream to cool down may help for a moment. But don't go overboard on the sugar if you're overheated or at risk of being overheated.