Now that the official first day of summer is behind us, the thermostat is going to rise across the country. And as the weather outside heats up, the temperature in your home will, too.
One of the great modern inventions is the air conditioner: it’s the secret to why Phoenix, Arizona, has 4.5 million people living there.
Unfortunately, the cost of installing and maintaining air conditioning makes it out of reach of some people. If you’re one of those people (or you just want to cut down on your energy costs if you do have A/C), you’re not out of luck.
Here are 10 things you can do to keep you and your home cool without using air conditioning.
1. Keep windows and doors closed
This seems to go against common sense, which tells us to open a window to cool off. But if the temperature outside is higher than the temperature inside, all opening your windows or doors will do is heat the air in your home.
Shut your doors and windows during the day to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
2. Keep your blinds closed during the day
Closing your windows may keep out the hot air, but if you keep your window coverings open during the day—particularly on south-, west-, and east-facing windows—the direct sunlight entering your home will heat your air.
Keep your blinds closed to block the hot sunlight.
3. Keep air moving with fans
Fans won’t cool the air in your house, but circulating air will ensure that you cool off when you sweat, which is why you sweat in the first place. Plus, even if you’re not sweating, the moving air will wick away heat from your body.
4. Open your windows at night
At night, keep your windows open. This will let in fresh, cool air. This is particularly useful in drier climates like the Prairies.
Even better, have one fan blowing warm air outside and one fan pulling cool air inside during the night. If the temperature drops enough overnight, your home may even cool by as much as 10° by the time you wake up in the morning.
5. Dress in as little as possible
The fewer layers you wear, the less you insulate your body, thus letting more heat escape. Use this tip with discretion outside of the home. 😉
6. Do not use the oven
Use a BBQ, an indoor grill, a slow cooker, or something other than your oven. Anything that generates heat will contribute to your home’s increasing temperature, and the oven will likely do that more than any other home appliance.
7. Eat cool foods
Even better than not using your oven is not cooking your food at all (or as little as possible. Try cool foods like pasta salads, garden salads, gazpacho, and so on. Cool foods will cool you and will feel refreshing.
8. Eat foods with high water content
One way your body copes with high temperatures is through sweat. This depletes your internal water supply, so you must replenish that water. Eating foods with high water content—like watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce—will top up your water stores and will cool you down, especially if they had been stored in the fridge.
9. Eat frozen food
This is related to tip 7, but takes it to a higher level. Frozen foods, like frozen berries or frozen fruit medley, work great to cool you off and boost your mood.
10. Eat homemade popsicles
This builds on other tips above, but the nice thing about home-made popsicles is they taste awesome. Depending on what ingredients you use, they can also be a great way to replace electrolytes you’ve lost through sweating.
What tricks do you use to beat the heat? Let us know in the comments below.