So you think it’s hot?
It turns out, there are some things within our control that we can do. Though you may be tempted to cool your surroundings, it may actually be cheaper to try to cool yourself first. In other words, concentrate primarily on cooling your body instead of bringing down the temperature in your environment.
There are quite a good number of ways to feel cooler and actually enjoy the warmer days, and no, you shouldn’t have to build a $40,000 swimming pool on your premises at all. Beat the heat with these tips!
Many Ways To Keep Cool And Survive The Heat
#1 Visit the beach, lake or river.
If you live near a water hole or the open sea, then you’re lucky — just drive there and jump in. For those inland, this isn’t an option, but there are many other things you can try…
#2 Visit water amusement parks.
For those inland, you may have a local water amusement park (or “waterpark”) somewhere close by. If you don’t have a natural water hole, then a man-made water hole also works! However, this may not be the best advice since everyone else may have the same idea and you may find the local park to be a horrible, hot, crowded, dense convergence of humanity.
#3 Find a community pool (or someone else’s pool).
If you build your own pool, it’ll fetch you $40,000 for installation and $500 a month or thereabouts in maintenance costs. So find someone else who already took care of those costs, pay them a visit and go jump in their pool. Ideally, you’d want a friend or family member to have a pool that can be exclusively loaned to you.
#4 Buy an inflatable swimming pool.
These aren’t too expensive. We have one that we got for $25 or so. It was great and lasted many summers. It recently fell victim to normal wear and tear so we’ll need to replace it. But for its size and the hours of fun it provides, it’s so worth the cost. We love this type of pool. On the same note, we enjoy playing a lot of water games in our backyard. Even just using our humble hose pipe helps.
#5 Install air conditioning.
No need for central air conditioning, which actually costs at least $5,000 to install. You can pick up one of those mobile A/C units from a hardware store.
#6 Circulate the air with fans.
Use hand-held fans or electric fans, which are available even in more affordable styles. See if keeping the windows open helps. Although at least once a year, we do get heat waves in the Bay Area that feel worse when the windows are open with absolutely no air circulation from a breeze whatsoever. If it gets unbearable around here on occasion at 105 degrees, I can just imagine what it’s like elsewhere like Phoenix or Chicago in the dead of summer.
#7 Make sure your house is well insulated.
Especially in your attic! If your house is new, you probably don’t need to worry about this matter. But for older houses, you may want to think about investing in better insulation so you can save on utility bills along with improved temperature levels in your home.
#8 Install a whole house fan (in the attic or basement).
Whole house fans come in the guise of attic or basement fans. Add attic fans or whirlybirds to your roof. These fans can cost you several hundred dollars to install, but this should keep the overall temperature of your home at lower levels. I see a lot of these whirlybird things on homes with wooden shingled roofs around my neighborhood so it’s a common way for people to battle the heat. Apparently, you can do something similar to your basement but I’m not sure I’d try installing it myself.
#9 Change your air filters.
Maintain your HVAC unit by changing the filters on a regular basis so that they continue to work efficiently.
#10 Use a programmable thermostat.
You can save significant money on utility bills (up to 33%!) using a configurable thermostat. Depending on a schedule, your house can be cooled or warmed accordingly.
#11 Plant more trees and get some shade.
I’ve discussed the wonders of trees in the past. One of the great benefits of trees in your property and your community is how the shade cools down the entire neighborhood. I used to live in a newer suburb that barely had any landscaping and boy, was it dreadfully hot there during the summers. Now that I live in an older neighborhood with mature trees — and not to mention, a country setting — we’re naturally well insulated all year round.
#12 Visit cooler spots.
Stay indoors and if need be, visit air-conditioned free public areas like the mall, movie theaters and so forth (hopefully you don’t end up spending money there). As a younger person, this was how I found myself escaping heat waves. Also, if you’re in a structure that has more than one story, it’s best to hang out at the lower levels since heat rises. Downside: it could be pretty crowded at those public places.
#13 Slow down.
Moving burns up calories and energy, making you feel hot. If you rest and take it easy, you’ll probably feel better even while the environment is baking like a sauna.
#14 Drink a lot!
Hydration is extremely important when you’re sweating buckets so ice water and cool drinks are a good way to go. If you can, avoid those drinks that can dehydrate you such as anything with caffeine or alcohol.
#15 Wear the right clothes.
What’s the best type of clothing to wear when it’s unspeakably hot? You’re wrong if you thought “nothing”! For the safest results, it’s best to keep the sun’s rays away from the skin and therefore, loose, flowing cotton or linen clothing should be good. White and pastels are colors you should wear on such days since they reflect heat rather than absorb heat like darker colors do.
#16 Avoid humidity.
If you can help it, keep the humidity levels down as humidity contributes to your discomfort. You may consider purchasing a de-humidifier unit, but it’s not necessary. Instead, you can try the following: keep your bathroom door closed after taking a shower or bath, keep your baths or showers short and cool, avoid boiling or steaming meals and skip doing the laundry till after the heat wave!
#17 Stick your feet out of your blankets.
This one is a contribution from my spouse. He swears by this method of cooling down while you sleep, so let the heat escape from your feet. Other ways to sleep comfortably on a hot night: forget the jammies, sleep in your birthday suit! Fill a hot water bottle with cold water and keep it close, dampen your hair and sleep on your side. Some more ideas here.
How Else Are You Keeping Cool?
It’s my favorite time of year but in some parts of the country, it’s sweltering. Some heat waves have arrived in some cities and it’s not been pleasant. You may be desperate enough to try something like this but resist the urge.
Let me make it clear: Hanging off a window to install an air-conditioner in your apartment several stories above ground is highly discouraged.
Remember that there are many other ways to beat the heat on the cheap!
Image Credit: Many thanks to EnglishRussia.com
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