Beat the Heat This Summer

The scorching sun and humidity can be hard on our bodies, moods, and pocket books. Don’t let the rising summer temperatures get you down. Here are a few tips to keep cool this summer while the sun is out in full force.

Block the sun:  Whether you are hanging by the pool or enjoying the a/c inside remember to block the sun. If you are outside remember to apply sunscreen thirty minutes before heading out and then reapply the same amount approximately every two hours. When inside close blinds and curtains. Your best bet is use curtains with sun- deflecting white on the window side. This will reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45% according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Give the A/C some TLC: Clean or replace the air filter in room and central air conditioners about once a month during the summer. Seal any cracks between a window unit and frame with a peelable caulking or seal strip. If you have central air conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system’s efficiency by as much as 15%.

Fan+ A/C= COOL:  Use the air conditioner and fan simultaneously. You can use the air conditioning at a lower power and still feel cool if the fan is blowing over you. The a/c removes the humidity from the air while the fan helps evaporate sweat and moves heat away from your body. While fans don’t actually cool a room, they simply make you feel cooler; using a fan a/c combo at night can help you get a better night’s sleep. Face your fan out, rather than in at night. The fan will pull the warm air out of the room helping you stay cooler.

Give your appliances a summer vacation: Your oven, dryer and dishwasher could all use a break too! If you do plan to cook, use the stovetop, microwave or a barbecue. Hang your clothes to dry outside, it will save energy and they will smell great. Let your dishes air dry, if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob or button after the final rinse and prop the door slightly open so the dishes dry faster.

Make a chill pill: Ok, so maybe this isn’t necessarily a pill but it will keep you cool! Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine or a rubber band and freeze it for a few hours before bedtime. When you’re ready for bed, slide the compress between the sheets. The rice will remain cold for a long period of time because it is dense and starchy.

Eat Light and Hydrate: It’s important to stay hydrated during the heat of summer and it can be easy to fall behind in your recommended water intake. In addition to simply drinking water to stay hydrated there are foods that you can eat to contribute to your fluid intake. Staying properly hydrated can prevent headaches and the sluggish feeling caused by dehydration. Some of my favorite healthy, water filled snacks to keep on hand are cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, and yogurt.

Know your body’s cooling points: If you find yourself stuck in the heat and can’t get to a cooler place; know your body’s cooling points, example: your wrist and neck. By applying ice cubes wrapped in a towel, or any other cold object you can cool your body down more quickly and effectively.

What are some of your tricks for keeping cool this summer?

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