How You Can Cool Off on a Hot Day – Without Air Conditioning

Summer may be almost over in much of the world, but Mother Nature still has a few hot days left in store for us. Until the cool weather of the “-Ber” months sets in for good, we can expect to have a few more days of running the fans and air conditioning. We need to stay well hydrated throughout the day if we want to keep cool. But there are lots of other tricks you can use to beat the last of summer’s heat. The best thing about them is that they’re free and simple to put into practice.



6 Common-Sense Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

  1. Wear Loose, Light-Coloured Clothing
    Tight clothes trap your body heat against you, so choose loose-fitting clothing when it’s hot outside. If possible, choose light-coloured fabrics that will reflect the sun’s light. And stick with loosely woven, natural fibers that will breathe and allow your sweat to evaporate. Remember that lighter fabrics and clothes that cover less of your skin offer less protection against the ultraviolet rays that cause sunburns and skin cancer. So if you’re spending time outside, remember to cover up with a wide-brimmed hat and to apply sunscreen throughout the day.
  2. Keep the Curtains Closed Against the Heat
    When it’s hotter outside than it is inside, keep your blinds and curtains closed during the daytime – especially when the sun is shining directly into a room. Heavy blackout blinds help to insulate your house in both summer and winter, making them a great choice for pretty much every room in the house. Open them at night to let in the cooler air, if the temperature in your region drops significantly at night.
  3. Restrict Daytime Activity
    During the worst heat of the day, try not to be too active. Avoid heavy physical activity and take plenty of breaks to rest and rehydrate. Do your chores and running around early in the day if you can, or use errands as an excuse to enjoy the air conditioning at the mall.
  4. Avoid Using Heat-Generating Appliances
    Try to run appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers early in the morning or after the sun goes down. Better still, wash the dishes by hand and hang the clothes out to dry. Take advantage of all that heat and sun to do your work for you. After all, it’s free!
  5. Don’t Make Your Drinks Too Cold
    An ice-cold drink can really feel great when it’s hot outside. But the effect is short-lived. Your body actually expends energy warming up a really cold drink so you can absorb it properly. And an ice-cold drink actually suppresses sweating, which can make you feel warmer if you’re in a fairly dry environment.
  6. Eat Warm, Heavy Meals After Dark
    Eat hot foods after dark, wen the temperature outside is dropping. Small meals and snacks eaten throughout the heat of the day often go down better when it’s really hot outside. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like melons and cucumbers. Replace hot meals with cold plates of deli meat and salad, hummus and fresh vegetables, or yogurt and fruit. If you really want a hot meal, try making it in a crockpot or on the barbecue to reduce the amount of heat produced during cooking. Try soup too, as hot liquids help to cool your body down as long as your sweat can evaporate well.

Turning on the air conditioning may be your first thought when the mercury rises, but there are lots of simple and free ways to cool off on a hot day. Using one or more of these commonsense heat-beating strategies can help you cope on hot days without resorting to more expensive cooling options. They can also boost the effect of your air conditioning or fans, so you’ll burn through a little less energy and money trying to handle the heat.

 

6 Commonsense Ways to Beat the Summer Heat | Cooling off doesn’t have to mean air conditioning!


Cooling off on a hot day doesn’t have to mean air conditioning
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Original content © 2016 Kyla Matton Osborne



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  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of John
      John

      Next year I think will be much hotter than the previous summer. More people will experience heat stroke or other heat-related problem.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        It seems that many of us are truly experiencing the effects of climate change. The temperatures are rising and the heat is often accompanied by higher than normal humidity or extreme storms. It’s tough to cope sometimes, especially at the peak of summer.

    2. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
      Rex Trulove

      I don’t have an air conditioner, but I do use fans and set up a make-shift swamp cooler. I also use another ploy. I get into the shower, clothed, and get totally wet. That really helps for an hour or two, because I let the air dry the clothing and me, giving much of the same effect as a swamp cooler. 🙂

      I do try to increase my fluid intake, though. We also don’t have the problem they sometimes have in the south. There, it doesn’t cool down much at night. Here, it is rare for it to not cool down.

      This gives me an article idea for tomorrow or the next day, though, if I remember it. Setting up a homemade swamp cooler is surprisingly easy to do. 🙂

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        The cooler nights are one thing I really appreciate about living in the mountains. Back in Montreal, the temperature didn’t drop much at night. July and August are almost unbearable there now between the heat and humidity, and the fact that it doesn’t cool off at night or after a good rain.

      2. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        Kyla got it right. A swamp cooler blows cool, moist air into the rooms. They can be tremendously useful especially in places that get really dry when they get hot. When we get above 90 to 100, our humidity is typically less than 15%.

    3. Profile photo of Andria Perry
      Andria Perry

      I must say I do all the above and with a/c .

      Living in the deep south, Alabama, without a/c is not going to be nice when the temps get into the hundreds for a whole month sometimes longer, I do remember the days of cooking with a fan at the front door blowing air in and one in the kitchen window sucking out the hot.

      My face was always red and I seemed to have a darker tan back the. Hair? NOPE it was always a frizzy mess and in a ponytail.

      For the most part in the deep south if you do not have a/c you are very poor. I have been very poor but I am now blessed by God and I have a/c.

      I shared this article on StumbleUpon.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        I don’t think I could cope with those extremes of heat. I’m used to bone-chilling cold in the winter, but I don’t do well with the heat.

      2. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        You probably wouldn’t like Montana then, Kyla. Year before last, which was about as close to a ‘normal’ year as we get, our high temperature for the year was 112 F / 44.4 C. Our coldest temperature in winter was -55 F / -48.3 C.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        Not if you really need it, Pat. My MIL had respiratory issues that were exacerbated by the hot, humid air in the summer. She had to use her air conditioners all day and night during the summer, or else she’d get really sick.

    4. Profile photo of Sandy KS
      Sandy KS

      I have two small air conditioners and fans to help cool my home. I tend to run the AC’s at night. They go off and so fans in the early morning hours. Doors open. Til it gets to in the house. Tonight was 3 pm when AC’s got turned back on.

      I eat small meals throughout the day. never at night. Otherwise I have severe reactions that affect my health.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        It sounds like you’re doing what’s necessary for you to keep cool!

        Yes, for some folks eating at night can be an issue. We tend to eat late anyway, and we are night owls in our family. So we can eat later in summer without anyone getting sick.

    5. Profile photo of Deb Jones
      Deb Jones

      Crock pot or slow cooker cooking is a good way to help decrease heating up the kitchen to cook, if cooking is being done, with or without air conditioning.

      I do a bit like Rex, although I don’t wet my entire body, clothes and all. I wet my head and hair with cool or tepid water and find that helps to cool me a great deal. I know science says we lose 30 percent of our body heat through the top of our heads, but I think my wiring makes it to be more like 50 percent or more. : )

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        I actually debated mentioning the heat loss through the head in my article, Deb. It’s true that having wet hair will cool you down quite a bit. Putting cool water or compresses at your pulse points helps too. I even remember one magazine in the 80s recommending the use of a spray cologne at the pulse points, as the alcohol in it was volatile and its evaporation would make you feel cooler.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        I’ll bet you really need the air conditioning too, though! My sister-in-law lives in St Louis, and hubby stayed with her for a year when he was first working. He says you couldn’t live there in summer with air conditioning. The heat is just far too great, and the humidity makes it much worse.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        We have gotten to where we always microwave potatoes instead of baking them. It’s so fast too! No need to wait two hours while they bake.

    6. Profile photo of Nona
      Nona

      We do all of the above, but still have to use our AC to keep it from hitting 90 in the house. I think we need better insulation.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        In some places, you really do still need fans or air conditioners. It depends on your house, of course. But in some regions, the temperatures are just really high throughout the summer. Where I live, it rarely goes above the 80s in summer. Our average temperature in summer is about 74F.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        I get a lot of use of my microwave, toaster oven, and crockpot. With these three appliances, we can save a lot of energy and avoid heating the house up unnecessarily if we want to cook a meal.

      1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

        I love to cook roasts and whole chickens in the crockpot. It’s very convenient, and I love that it doesn’t heat the house or take up the whole oven.

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