It has officially been summer for a week now, and so far it looks like it may be a hot one. When it comes to keeping cool during the hot summer months, there are many ways to try to beat the heat. Obviously, going for a swim in a nice cool pool is probably one of the best ways to keep cool, and of course many people pump up their air conditioning. Maybe you don’t have access to a pool, or perhaps you don’t want to run up your energy bill by having the air conditioner running all day; what are some other ways to keep cool? In this article from Four Green Steps, you are given several tips on how to beat the heat, without having to waste energy.
It’s summertime and it’s HOT! While trying to beat the heat, consider different options that are more green and eco-friendly than blasting the air conditioner. There are many ways you can cool yourself and your home that avoid air conditioning and will save you money. The ideal alternative is, of course, a good old fashioned fan. Using a fan plus all the other points outlined in this article will help you stay cool and beat the summer heat. They may all seem small or insignificant but using some or all can help you significantly cool off in the summer while being eco-friendly.
Get a fan
Ideally, if you do not have a ceiling fan, try to have one installed because they are great for circulating air. In the summer, make sure that the fan is circulating counterclockwise (and in the winter, clockwise). The fan does not need to be on when you are not in the room, so you can also install a motion detector (just be careful about pets always moving about when you are not there).
Fans can be your best friend during the hot summer heat waves. While you are in the room, turn on your fan and enjoy the breeze. They are cheap to run and cool you off. Even if you must use an air conditioner, a fan can help circulate the cold air.
Open the windows at night and have a fan by them to bring in the cool night air (make sure you have at least 2 windows open so a breeze can travel through your home). During the day, close your windows and let the fans circulate the cool air. If you have fans going at least 1 mile per hour, you can feel at least 4 degrees cooler.
You can also place a bowl of ice water in front of the fan to help circulate some colder air without running an air conditioner. Or soak some fabric in water and hang it in front of the fan or window as well.
Block out the sun with curtains
The suns rays really heat up your house during the day time. So when you close your windows during the day, make sure you also close your blinds or curtains. If you don’t have any, try to get some in a light shade made of natural or organic materials, like cotton, that are fairly opaque to the summer sun.
Wear lightweight and loose fabrics
Your clothing choice has a huge effect on how hot or cool you feel. Lighter shades and natural fabrics will help you feel a lot cooler, such as organic cottons or bamboo. Keep your clothes fitting loose so your body is able to breathe and lose heat under the fabric. Also make sure your linen is also of natural fabrics so moisture is wicked away from you while you are sleeping.
Reduce the amount of added artificial heat in your home
Avoid using your oven in the summer. It adds a ton of unnecessary heat to your home. Try using the microwave or a toaster oven. This not only saves the amount of heat being released, but also uses less energy and you save money.
Do not run your dryer in the summer either. Get a clothes line and hang dry everything. The suns rays are super warm and do a better job at drying your clothes. Allowing your clothes to hang dry will also help them last longer, as they are not being beaten up in the dryer.
Let your hair air dry as well. Your hair will be less damaged from the heat and your head will feel so much cooler without all that added heat. You can even go one step further and cut your hair shorter.
If you haven’t switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) already, it’s time to do so. CFLs use less energy and produce less heat than incandescent light bulbs.
Eat spicy food
Spicy food will help you sweat and once the sweat starts to dry, you will feel cool. Some of the spiciest foods come from some of the warmest climates, so perhaps they know something we don’t. Sweating is your body’s natural defense to being warm, so help your body out.
Become a raw foodist
You will cut back on a lot of energy used, and therefore heat, when you start eating more meals raw. Eating raw will mean you no longer use your oven, microwave, toaster oven, stovetop or anything else that heats and cooks your food beyond 115˚F. Eating raw will also help your body stay cool because you are not eating hot food that will warm you from the inside. Click here for a video on how to switch to a raw food diet. You do not need to go all out (it’d be great if you did!) but try to add as much raw food to your diet as you can in the summer.
Drink a lot of water
As your body is sweating a lot, you need to replenish the lost water. When it’s hot out, it is very important to make sure you stay hydrated. As you sweat, you also lose a lot of salt, so make sure you also replenish your salt levels. Staying hydrated and replenishing salt will help keep your body at a good temperature.
Take a cold shower
Cold showers help save energy, have many health benefits and also save water. They save water because you do not need to wait for the water to become hot, and you won’t want to stay in the shower quite as long. Some health benefits are that it increases blood circulation, strengthens the nervous system and closes pores. For more information on the benefits of cold showers, check out this article.
Turn the air conditioner off or at least up
If you must turn on the energy consuming air conditioner, make sure you keep the temperature at a reasonable level, like above 26˚C or 78˚F. At night, try to open windows rather than keep the air conditioner running. Also, when you are not home, turn the air conditioner off, or keep it at fairly high temperatures, and turn it back on when you get back, it will cool things off fairly quickly.