Now that the higher temperatures have kicked in with full force, it’s hard to remember why we like summer in the first place. It’s times like these that a fully cranked AC and a couple of massive fans look mighty attractive.
However, these are not the only tips and tricks to keeping your cool on a hot, stuffy day (especially if you can’t afford the extra expense). It turns out that there are lots of fun and creative ways to beat the heat without ballooning up that power bill.
If you’re up for a little DIY session, then here are 5 witty ways to cool yourself and your home without AC.
#1: Focus On Your Body Temperature
Before you bust out the big guns, it’s worth remembering that it’s you who’s feeling the heat, not your house. If our ancestors survived and thrived without any air conditioning for centuries, so can you. Fortunately, the first tip to mitigating heat is simple and begins with you.
The most effective way to keep your body temperatures down is to stuff your body with cooling fluids and liquids. From cold soda and iced tea all the way to ice cream, cooling yourself from the inside is the fastest way to beat the heat (not to mention the sweetest).
#2: Keep Sun Out, Let Air In
This might sound like common sense, but you’d be quite surprised how many people go about it the wrong way. According to research, more than 30 percent of unwanted heat actually comes from direct sunlight, windows, and other openings.
While opening up the curtains to let the light in may seem like a good idea, it actually turns your house into a miniature greenhouse. Making sure that your blinds are always closed could lower indoor temperatures in a room by as much as 20 degrees.
However, you should make sure the windows are open and the room ventilated to give hot air somewhere to go. Most homeowners prefer to open the windows at night for a maximum cooling effect.
#3: Turn Off Heat Sources
There are times when you directly contribute to the heat build up in your home without even realizing it. From your cooking habits to the power guzzling incandescent bulbs around the house, all these factors will see the mercury in your thermometer rise steadily.
To avoid this, try using stoves and ovens less and use the microwave more. Summer is also the perfect time to bust out your outdoor grill and cook up your favourite treats. You will find that less indoor cooking actually leads to a very cool home.
For the lighting, try switching from incandescent bulbs to LEDs or compact fluorescents and turn off any lamps and computers that are not in use. TVs also give a lot of heat, consider turning them off when not in use.
#4: Make Smart Use Of Your Freezer
One of your most valuable allies in the fight against heat is the one running silently and continually in your kitchen. Now, we’re not implying that you should open up your fridge and stand in front of it (that would be a horrible idea).
What you need to do is put the appliance to good use while it’s running. For starters, make some room for a few wet washcloths, pillow cases, and top sheets. After a couple of hours in the freezer, your top sheets and pillows should feel much cooler and chiller.
Summer is definitely not the time for a hefty comforter; your body will thank you when it’s bed time and the sheets are all cool and fresh.
#5: Make Some Long-Term Upgrades
If you live in the UK, then chances are that you will not experience all year round heat waves. However, there are still zones and regions where temperatures run relatively high all through the year.
Instead of wasting resources by having your AC on all day, you might want to think about making a few slight upgrades that will serve you well in the long run.
For starters, you could try planting a few trees around your home if you have a yard. If not, you can build an overhead trellis and grow some vines. Plants really help create shade and freshen the air when it’s hot outside.
For the more able homeowner, installing insulated walls and reflective surfaces will turn your home into a gigantic cooler. You might also want to consider installing several wall and attic vents. You’d be amazed how much difference a cool, ventilated attic makes to the temperature of the entire household.