We understand how tempting it can be to crank up your cooling system and stay inside on days when it’s sizzling hot outside. However, this may not be an option for you for a variety of reasons. Rather than being uncomfortable and in a hot, humid home, try out these simple and inexpensive life hacks.
One of the most important (and easy) things you can do to stay cool is to keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water and steer clear of sugary or alcoholic drinks. Medical experts and nutritionists recommend drinking 64 ounces of water each day. When you drink enough water, you will be amazed at how much energy you have! Also, being hydrated will help you to feel cooler in hot temperatures.
Keep your blinds and curtains closed
When the temperatures outside start to climb, keep your window blinds and curtains closed to prevent the sun’s hot rays from getting into your home. Energy experts suggest that the average home’s heat can be reduced by nearly 30% by keeping windows covered. It’s especially important to keep east- and west-facing window blinds and curtains closed as the sun rises and sets in these directions each day, and to keep south-facing ones closed during the day. It may be a smart idea to invest in blackout curtains for the summer. Many decorative and stylish patterns are available.
Change your bedding
If you have thick flannel sheets on your bed, you’re obviously going to be hot and miserable on summer nights. Use cotton bedding during the warmer months of the year as this is a material that breathes and can keep you cool. It may also be a smart idea to change your pillows and pillowcases at the same time to freshen up the look of your bedroom. As a bonus, on nights that aren’t exceptionally warm, you can open your windows to let in a breeze.
If you are using a fan to help keep cool you and create air flow, shut the doors to all other rooms in your home so that you can reap optimal benefits from the use of the fan in the room that you’re in. Also, before leaving your home, be sure to shut the fan off so you don’t waste energy.
Cook meals outdoors
If you have a barbecue grill, use it to prepare most of your meals. Using the oven and cooktop in your home will only generate heat, leaving you with a stuffy and uncomfortable kitchen. Also, there are many healthy dishes you can prepare with an outdoor grill, such as grilled vegetables and chicken.
Use bathroom exhaust fans
These are great for removing humidity from the air after you’ve taken a shower or bath, but did you know that they can also be used during the summer to remove heat? Heat always rises, and if you have these exhaust fans turned on, they will pull the hot and uncomfortable air out of your home.
Don’t wear long sleeves and pants if you don’t have to. Dress for the weather. Stick to light-colored tank tops, shorts, and cotton-based clothing that will breathe in the hot temperatures.
Hang out in the basement
If all else fails, spend time underground in your basement if you have one. It will be naturally cooler than the upper levels of your home. Be creative in how you use this extra available living space. If you are serious about saving energy and using your AC less, consider finishing your basement so you are able to use this space during the warmer months of the year.
Need more tips for staying cool?
Check out these bonus tips from the Department of Energy!