Air conditioning may be convenient and effective for staying cool in the summer, but it also uses a lot of energy and it can become rather costly. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to beat the heat, while keeping your A/C usage to a minimum. These ideas also may work as temporary solutions when your A/C is broken.
Swap your sheets.
Lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton are great for ventilation and can help you sleep more comfortably in the summer.
Freeze your sheets.
In the morning, you can go ahead and put your bedsheets in the freezer. It sounds weird, but at the end of the day, you can take them out and have cool sheets to sleep on.
Turn off unused lights.
Light emits heat, and the more lights you turn on, the more heat will be emitted. When you leave a room and you know you won’t be returning for awhile, turn off the lights. Also, you can look into purchasing energy-efficient light bulbs.
Eat cool meals.
You’ll want to avoid using your stove and oven, as they generate a lot of heat. Some cool and refreshing meals that are perfect for summer include salads, cold sandwiches, fresh fruit, and of course, ice cream.
Cook outside or use small appliances.
If you like warm, cooked meals, invest in a grill, as summer is a great time for barbecues and pool parties. You can also use small cooking appliances like crock pots, toaster ovens, and microwaves, as they produce less heat.
Store frozen foods in your freezer.
These can come in handy, since they can be used as ice packs. Items like frozen vegetables work perfectly. They’re cheap and you also get a meal out of them. Water bottles work as well.
Close your blinds.
This helps prevent heat from coming into your home.
Choose the right curtains/drapes.
Choose light-colored fabrics, as they will reflect heat coming through the windows. Additionally, look for heavy fabrics to create a thicker barrier. Keep your curtains and drapes closed and make sure they are as close to the window as possible.
Wear thin and loose clothing. This can give your skin some room to breathe. Look for fabrics like cotton or linen, for example. Also, try to look for clothing with sweat-wicking fabrics or mesh panels, which are commonly found in activewear.
Water helps regulate your body temperature, especially if you sweat a lot. If you have trouble with getting enough water, watch our video on 10 Tips for Staying Hydrated.
Invest in a whole house fan.
The benefits are that it’s more energy-efficient and cheaper to operate. Learn all about them from the Department of Energy.
Be mindful when opening and closing doors.
Keeping doors open throughout your home can allow air to circulate freely through the space. Meanwhile, having a closed door when you’re in a small room can cause unwanted heat to build up in there.
Make a DIY air conditioner.
You can easily create your own A/C with just a bowl of ice and a fan. Place the bowl in front of a fan so that the fan can cool down the evaporated water from the melted ice.
Hot air rises, so you may want to sleep on your first floor or basement. Sleeping on a cot or hammock could also be a good alternative.
Plant trees in strategic areas.
A tree can provide shade if you plant it by a window, particularly ones on the west and east sides of your home.