We’ve found 7 cheap and easy ways to stay cool without air conditioning this summer! With record heat waves happening all over the US, it’s important to know how to stay cool in hot weather… and these tips can help.
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Block your windows.
Windows allow for a lot of heat transfer, especially when the sun is coming through. Block your windows with thick curtains, blankets, or other material to stop the heat from entering your space. Blackout curtains are best, because they completely stop the heat from entering. Just blocking the sunlight can make a big difference.
Shut and insulate your doors.
Spend most of your time in one room and close as many doors as possible. Closing off parts of the house keeps cooler air concentrated in a single area, which can help you stay cool. Make sure that outside doors are blocked and that no air is seeping through. Weather strips are cheap and easy to install, and they can make a big difference.
Place ice in front of your fans.
Get a fan to blow air around and place a bowl of ice at an angle in front of it. This will blow air across the ice, which will help cool you down.
This is not necessarily an efficient way to cool down an entire room. You’ll use a lot of ice with minimal results. Instead, point the fan directly at you and cool yourself down with this method.
Use a cooling cloth.
Get a washcloth wet, wring it out and place it in the freezer. Use these cool rags to help you cool down when you’re experiencing extreme heat. For the best effect, place them on your wrists or neck, where blood vessels are close to the skin.
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Avoid using damp or frozen rags near your mattress, as a damp mattress can grow mold and become an entirely different health hazard.
Cold showers can also reduce your core temperature, and using peppermint soap can trick your brain into thinking you are colder than you actually are.
Some people recommend rinsing your feet in cold water to help you feel cooler before bedtime.
Spend time downstairs or in the basement.
Heat rises, so if you live in a multistory home, spending time downstairs can make a big difference in your comfort level. If you can’t get downstairs, sleeping in a hammock can help increase the airflow around you as you sleep which can increase your comfort.
Reduce the amount of heat you generate.
Drink a lot of water and, whenever possible, avoid cooking. Cooking can add heat to your unit and make it even harder to stay cool. Eating fruits and vegetables that have high water content, like watermelon, lettuce and cucumber, can help you stay hydrated and cool.
Running electronics and even lightbulbs can generate heat as well. Whenever possible, unplug extra electronics and turn off unneeded lights.
Find a cooling center near you.
Many areas have emergency cooling centers, which are large indoor places that you can spend time for free. These areas usually have comfortable seating and give you space to charge your phone, watch TV or relax away from the heat. To find a cooling center near you, call your local 211 service or contact your state department in charge of social or human services. In some cases, your utility provider, local church or other charity may know where a local cooling center is.