Saturday, July 10, 2010

25 Free Ways to Beat the Heat

It's been a super hot few days here. Fortunately we haven't had the extensive heat the East Coast has had but my melting point seems to be about 80 degrees and it has been in the mid 90's for the last three day. With no central air, our house is hot, going outside is like stepping into an oven, and exercising outside has become nearly impossible. Here's some free ways we have found to "beat the heat":
  1. Go to the library, mall, or other public air conditioned place.

  2. Go to the free public beaches or fountains and play in the water.

  3. Take a cold shower.

  4. Open all of the doors and windows in the morning to let the cool air in; close them when it starts to heat up.

  5. Set a tray of ice in front of the fan for extra coolness.

  6. Spend most of your time in the one room that has an air conditioner.

  7. Have a picnic outside under a shady tree and eat dinner.

  8. If you must exercise or do other outdoor work, do it early in the morning before it starts to get warm.

  9. Do any house work that will heat up your home (cooking, baking, laundry, etc) early in the morning then air out your house before the temps heat up.

  10. Keep the drapes closed on the sunny side of the house to keep temps lower in your home.

  11. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing--it will make you feel cooler.

  12. Take this opportunity to wash heavy blankets and rugs and hang them outside to dry--this will save lots of money over the cost of drying them in the dryer.
  13. Drink lots of cold water to both cool down your core and keep hydrated (skip the pop, coffee, and alcoholic beverages which actually can make you dehydrated).
  14. Eat light meals (salads, fruits, etc) and skip the heavy greasy meals that usually don't set well in high heat.
  15. Hang out in the coolest part of your home (in our case the basement is about 20 degrees cooler than the top floor of our home).
  16. Take it easy the first few days of hot weather. It takes our bodies a bit of time to become acclimated to hotter weather so forcing yourself to keep up your usual frantic pace could be exhausting. This is why "siestas" were invented.
  17. If your regular job includes working outside during the heat of the day, ask your employer if you and your co-workers can start earlier and leave earlier for the duration of the heat wave.
  18. Keep kids, pets, and the elderly cool. They have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature when it comes to periods of high heat.
  19. Use your electricity reasonably. During heat waves, cities and towns are more likely to suffer power outages due to the increased used of power (fans and air conditioners being used in each room of everyone's house) and the increased likelihood of overheated transformers.
  20. Entertain yourself and the kids. Make a big pitcher of "sun tea" to enjoy and, if it is hot enough outside, let the kids experiment with frying an egg on the sidewalk.
  21. Take precautions to avoid being sunburned if you must be outside--cover up, wear a hat, and use plenty of high-SPF sunscreen.
  22. If your home is absolutely sweltering and you have no other options, call your local 211 and find out where your nearest community cooling shelter is.
  23. Keep an eye on those around you. Exertion (even minor exertion if the person is elderly or ill) can result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke which requires immediate medical attention.
  24. During a prolonged heatwave, you will have other things to worry about as well: clearing your yard to prevent the spread of wildfire, being aware of areas that can suffer from flash flood, storing water for later use in the event your well dries up or city water becomes rationed, etc.
  25. Take special precautions with your car: fuel up during the cooler part of the day, pay attention to your gauges to prevent overheating, and never leave kids or pets (or anyone for that matter) in your car when the temperatures are even moderately hot as the interior can reach triple digits in a matter of minutes without the air conditioning on.

Fortunately heatwaves don't usually last long, however each day during the hot weather can be miserable without taking some of the simple (free) precautions above. With a bit of ingenuity and common sense, you will weather the heatwave just fine.

No comments:

Post a Comment