Summer weather can seem unbearable, especially during a heatwave. You could turn your thermostat lower, but then you run the risk of having higher energy bills. Also, an air conditioner that’s running constantly will experience extra strain on its vital components. This could ultimately lead to a breakdown of your cooling system, leaving you and your family hot and miserable.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to stay cool during scorching summer days, and they don’t involve having to turn your thermostat way down. Check out these ten unique tips for cooling off and staying comfortable at home.
1. Put a few water bottles in the freezer.
If you have a few water bottles in your fridge, stick them in the freezer. Once they’ve frozen, take the bottle(s) out of the freezer, wrap a cloth around them, and then place them on areas of your body that feel warm — your neck, feet, legs, back, etc. This will help you cool off nearly instantly. Also, once the water starts to melt, you can drink it and stay hydrated!
Do NOT attempt this with a glass container, as the expansion of the water as it changes into ice could cause the glass to shatter.
2. Place ice in front of a fan.
Have a small floor or table fan on hand? Plug it in and place a bucket or bowl of ice cubes in front of it. Turn the fan on to your desired speed and as the ice melts and evaporates, the fan will blow a cool, refreshing breeze for you to enjoy.
3. Adjust your bedding.
While silk or flannel sheets may feel nice on your skin, they won’t keep you cool during the hot summer months. Swap them out with cotton sheets, which are more breathable. Additionally, you can place your sheets in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and place them back on your bed before lying down to go to sleep. This will help to cool you off quickly and hopefully fall into a deep, relaxing sleep.
Also, before going to bed, shut your AC off and open the windows to let in a nice breeze. Avoid this, however, if the humidity levels outside are excessively high. This will only lead to a swampy, uncomfortable environment in your bedroom.
4. Shower in the evening.
Rather than jumping out of bed and into a hot shower in the morning, get cleaned up in the evening if it’s an option for you. Once the sun starts to go down, the temperatures will naturally begin to cool off. Taking a hot shower in the morning will release a lot of steam into your home, and this combined with the climbing temperatures will create an uncomfortable environment. Instead, taking a shower in the evening will still release steam, but you can opt to open the windows to let out any excess warm air that was created and you may also be able to enjoy a nice breeze.
Additionally, if the thought of a cold shower doesn’t put you off, try using cool water (or at least water that isn’t as warm as you usually would). This could cool you off and help to reduce the amount of steam created. And, of course, don’t forget to use that exhaust fan in your bathroom!
5. Keep the blinds closed.
While you may worry that keeping your blinds and curtains closed will give your neighbors the impression that you’re sleeping the day away, it could actually help to keep the inside of your home much cooler. Preventing the sun’s hot rays from getting inside during the day will keep your home more comfortable without needing to turn the thermostat down.
6. Turn off and unplug those electronics.
You would be amazed at how much heat your charging laptop, phone, music player, etc. give off. Rather than keeping these items plugged in and charging throughout the day — which could actually harm their batteries — unplug them until you need to charge them again.
Also, while you may enjoy falling asleep with the TV on in your bedroom, this can generate unwanted heat. Consider using your TV’s sleep timer, or turn your TV off when you feel you’re about to fall asleep to avoid having it on all night. This will also help you to save on your energy bills!
7. Sleep on the first floor of your home.
We all know that hot air rises, and if your bedroom is on the second floor of your home, then you may feel yourself lying in bed at night unable to fall asleep because it feels too hot and uncomfortable. If this happens to you, try sleeping downstairs on the first floor of your home — or even in the basement — for a cool and comfortable night’s rest.
8. Avoid cooking hot, heavy meals.
While you may consider yourself a pro home chef, remember that using your oven and cooktop during warm weather will only serve to make your home feel hotter and more uncomfortable.
Instead, during the summer, try preparing lighter meals such as salads or sandwiches. If you absolutely must cook something, consider using your outdoor grill, or plan to cook in the early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t shining so directly.
9. Turn the lights off.
Lights, even the new energy-efficient varieties, tend to give off heat. If you can keep your lights off and not strain your eyes with what you’re trying to do, give it a shot and see if it helps to keep your space cooler.
10. Check your vents!
Make sure your home’s vents aren’t blocked or obstructed. Many homeowners complain that a certain room or area feels warmer than it should, and they mistakenly think there’s something wrong with their air conditioner. In many cases, the issue is that the air conditioning vents are blocked with curtains, furniture, or other objects. Be sure to check for these issues before calling in a cooling professional!
Stay cool all summer!
With these tips, you and your family should be able to stay comfortable all season long — even during the worst and most scorching of heatwaves.