Keeping Your Home Cool When Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!
Oh, Summer, all winter we long for your sunny days and warm nights. We dream of sipping lemonade on the porch, frolicking in the park, jumping into the local lake, and playing in the ocean waves. However, while we are in this dream state we often forget just how intolerable the heat can be. With several states experiencing their hottest summer on record, we often don’t have the choice but to rely on turning on the air conditioner. It’s not ideal of course; the A/C might cool you down, but it also takes its toll on the wallet and the environment. Emissions from air conditioning refrigerants contribute to greenhouse gasses, and the impact on your electric bill can be jaw-dropping.
With a little thought and planning, though, you can reserve air conditioning for the truly uncomfortable days or nights and stay cooler—and greener— in the final throes of summer.
Become a fan of fans. Ceiling fans are a great way to create a breeze and feel significantly cooler, with far less ecological and economic impact than air-conditioning. Many new models are Energy Star rated, which can lead to significant savings. Air movement from stand-alone or box fans can be directed to where you need it, and you can strategically position them to create a wind tunnel if you’re lucky enough to get cool breezes at night.
To further cool your house, shut off as much as you can. Lights and electronics give off heat while they’re consuming electricity. Cut the heat and cut your costs at the same time. Keep your windows and drapes closed during the day to keep out of the heat; open them at night to admit the cooler breezes.
Help bring your internal temperature down at the core. Take a cool shower or a dip in a swimming pool and you’ll be better able to deal with the hot weather. A quick fix is putting an ice cube on your wrists or a cold washcloth on your neck. I opt for the wet old school red bandana myself. It not only cools me down, but makes me feel country.
Eat cool! Instead of eating hot meals, which warm you and heat up your kitchen, serve up cold dishes. Cold soups, salads, no-cook grains and sandwiches are great alternatives—and also super for spontaneous picnicking.
You can also opt to sweat it out. The body’s internal cooling system is perspiration. It’s not a coincidence that the cuisines of some of the world’s hottest regions are spicy food. Indulge in the spice and get the added bonus of an endorphin rush.
Give these tips a try and see if you can cut your summer energy footprint and electric bills! What do you do to keep eco-cool in the summer?