Chill Out – tips for staying cool this summer

Beverage DispenserThere are many obvious methods to stay cool in the summer. Drink lots of water, go swimming, or go to the mall. But what about the food you eat? Or the light bulbs in your house? These ideas may seem strange at first, but when applied will work wonders.

You Are What You Eat
Preparing and eating raw food has many health benefits, as well as keeping you and your house cool. Operating cooking appliances during the peak hours of the day will heat your house tremendously. Ovens tend to heat a house the fastest. Avoiding hot appliances will help you stay cool in the summer.

Eating a cool meal of fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your body temperature down and help you stay cool in the summer. A simple salad or slaw makes a great summer dinner to eat on the patio while your house cools down. Avoiding spicy food will help as well. This doesn’t directly affect temperature, but spicy food adds to the uncomfortable feeling of being hot. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine will also keep you cool by maintaining hydration.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs put off a ton of heat, and will make the temperature of your house rise. Switching to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs will keep the temperature in check. The added benefit to switching is the money that you will save on your utility bill. CFL’s only use a fraction of the energy that incandescent bulbs do, which will quickly offset their increased initial price. They will help your house and you stay cool in the summer.

No AC? No problem!
Cottage Porch SwingSummer can be a rough time for those that don’t have air conditioning. When outside temperatures reach triple-digits, the best thing to do may be to get out of the house until it cools off. Here are some tips if vacating isn’t possible.

Portable air conditioning is the perfect appliance to get you through a heat wave and help you stay cool in the summer. They can be moved around the house as needed (if there is a window nearby for exhaust). These units only cost a fraction of what a central AC unit does, and require no modification to your house.

You can create your own breezeway with a window fan. Open windows on parallel sides of your house and place a window fan in the sill. You can point the fan to draw air in from the outside or pull the stale air out of your house. Either way works well to keep your house cool, but will be aided by the direction of the wind blowing outside.

Use thick curtains to keep sunny windows shaded. Make sure to keep the window closed during this time. As soon as the sun passes, open the curtains and the window to allow cool air to come in.

Concrete traps heat throughout the day and releases it as the evening progresses. How do you beat the “heat island?” Spray it down! Just before the sun sets, take your hose and spray off the concrete around your house and the exterior walls to eliminate the stored heat. Before you do this, take note of how much warmer the concrete is before you spray it. It will make a dramatic difference. As soon as the water hits the concrete, evaporation begins and it sucks the heat right out of ground, and will help keep your house cool.

Good luck, and stay cool this summer!

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