You don’t need us to tell you it’s hot out there. With temps in the 90s, high humidity and whipping winds, it feels like an oven outside! If you’ve got central air at home (luck you!), stay inside and bask in the cool, dry air. If not, we’ve got 10 tips to help you beat the heat this week.
Block the sun. You can block out some of the sun’s heat by closing all your curtains and blinds around the house during the day. This can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Fan strategically. Try ventilating your home at night by installing a window fan and making sure the blades face outside to suck warm air outside of the house while pulling cool air in.
In frequently used rooms, install a ceiling fan (set it to spin counterclockwise in summer). You’ll save the most money by running the fan only when you’re in the room. A motion-detector switch (around $20), which turns the fan on when you enter a room and off when the room is empty, is a good addition.
Run a fan and an air conditioner simultaneously. You can use the air conditioner at lower power and still feel cool if the fan is blowing over you. That’s because the air conditioner removes humidity from the air while the fan helps evaporate sweat and moves heat away from your body. (Note: Fans don’t cool a room; they just make people feel cooler, so shut them off before you leave.)
Rid your car of hot air fast. You know that oppressive feeling you get the second you sit in your car after it’s been parked in the sun all day? There’s a quick way to move all that hot air out: open two parallel doors on your car, then open and close one of those doors repeatedly about five times. This pushes the warm air out and the cool air in. It’s a really clever trick that only takes a minute.
Give your oven a summer vacation. If you cook, use the stovetop, the microwave or a barbecue. Or skip the hot food altogether – chances are your body is currently craving cooler, lighter fare during hot spells anyway.
Skip the drying cycle on the dishwasher. Instead, leave the door open to let the dishes dry. And put off using the dishwasher until evening, when the air is cooler. Or simply wash your dishes the old-fashioned way: by hand.
Make a cold compress. Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine, and freeze it for two hours before use (take it with you to bed, or just lie it across your neck as you watch TV). Rice retains cold for a long period because it’s dense and starchy.
Learn your body’s cooling spots for temperature reduction. Personal temperature reduction can happen fast if you know your body’s quick cooling spots. Your neck and wrists are two of the best, but the top of your feet and insides of your ankles work, too. Just focus your ice pack, or whatever you’re using too cool yourself, on those areas and you’ll beat the heat in no time.
Stay hydrated. Replace the moisture you lose while perspiring on a hot day with plenty of water. Avoid beverages that will dehydrate you, like coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks. You can also aid to hydration by eating water-filled foods like fruits, vegetables and smoothies. Now is the time to load up on plenty of water-filled, juicy watermelon!