Heat waves and record high temperatures present one primary challenge for people: how is it possible to stay cool? This proves more difficult if there is no air conditioning. To avoid rolling blackouts, some cities or counties advise people with air conditioning units to use more eco-friendly temperatures. That’s fine and great, but not everyone has functioning AC, or some people want to simply save energy and money by avoiding AC usage.
It’s estimated that roughly 20 million people experienced the most recent heatwave in the Pacific Northwest in June 2021. With record high temperatures of 105-115º F, it’s very easy to feel uncomfortable all the time. Not to mention, going outside seems like an impossible task. The heat from the cement seems to warm your feet through the soles of your shoes. Opening windows may not even let in a refreshing breeze. Occasionally, in fact, it may feel more like opening an oven door, depending on where you live.
To help people beat the summer heat without air conditioning, use the following tips and tricks. You may find that hot and sticky summer days and nights become more bearable, refreshing even. Let us know if they work for you in the comments below.
Cold Compresses Keep You Cool
If the heat is getting to you, apply a few cold compresses or ice packs to key areas on the body. When you feel overheated, apply ice packs to the back of the neck, lower back, and wrists. Do not apply ice packs or ice directly to the skin, as it can result in ice burn. Place a thin layer of cloth between the cold and your skin, preferably an old shirt or something of that nature. It’s also beneficial to take a cold shower to cool down, especially before bed.
Keep The Blinds Down And Curtains Shut
The darker you keep your house or apartment, the cooler it will stay when it’s hot outside. It’s wonderful and healthy to let natural light in your home, but reconsider that when it’s blazing hot outside. Heat can linger at night if you let sun rays in during the day. When it gets cooler at night, your home will cool off much more quickly than if it was light all day inside the house.
Get Creative With Fans
Fans don’t just blow air around, and if you think that’s all they do, prepare to have your mind blown. If you have a box fan, face it out against an open window so that it pushes out hot air that’s in the house. You can also adjust ceiling fans to have the blades spin counterclockwise, which helps draw hot air in an upwards motion. Position fans in a specific way to create more of a cross-breeze in your home. Set up multiple fans around the room, with one by an open window, to create optimal airflow.
Old School Tip: Place a tray of ice cubes in front of your fan and face it in your direction. The fan will provide a chilled breeze by picking up the cold that emanates from the ice.
Always Have Water With You
When it’s hot outside the body sweats at a rapid rate, which puts the body at a higher risk of experiencing dehydration. The body loses not only water via sweat, but also essential electrolytes. To counteract the water loss, make sure to always replenish with cold water. Regular water intake helps to counteract dehydration and heatstroke or heat exhaustion. If you feel thirsty then you are already in a mild state of dehydration. Get ahead of dehydration by drinking water before you feel thirsty.
Avoid The Meat Sweats
During summer, it’s common to grill large amounts of meat and eat until you can no longer move. Instead of heavy, meat-centric dinners, opt for smaller dinners that are easier to digest. When you ingest a lot of meat, it takes a toll on the body, making it work harder to break down the food. Swap out a large steak for a plate of whole grains, vegetables and legumes. Additionally, don’t eat two to three hours before you go to bed because eating late can make you feel hot or sweaty when trying to go to sleep.