Go Green: Ways to Stay Cool During Summer
This summer has been practically unbearable, as far as temperature goes. The sun is blazing, wildfires are sprouting up all over the place, and this past June had some of the hottest temperatures on record. Sure, you could turn on the air conditioner or a bunch of fans, but they use electricity and waste energy—especially if they are cooling off rooms that don’t need it. Here are some tips and tricks you can do to keep yourself cooled off, without being wasteful in the process:
1. Make sure your house is properly sealed and insulated.
This means filling the gaps or adding weather stripping (or even duct tape) to those cracks around your windows and doors. Otherwise, any cooling devices you may use will be working twice as hard to keep you cool because all that precious cold air will literally be slipping right out the cracks.
2. Know how to use your windows!
Many people think that by opening their windows, it will cool them off. Sure, there might be a bit of wind or a breeze here and there, but guess what? Opening your windows during the daytime will actually heat up your house more, rather than cool it down. You are basically inviting all the hot air outside to come into your home. So, what you should do is open your windows at night time to let the cool air in. Then, when you wake up, make sure to close them all again (including the blinds and curtains) to keep that cool air inside and the hot, daytime air shut out.
3. Plants are your friends.
If you can, add more shade-providing plants around the outside of your house—especially trees and especially near windows. You can also add more houseplants by the windows inside your home, as they will help to absorb any additional sunlight/heat that sneaks into your home. They are a natural way to keep your home cooler and with their help, your electric bill could be considerably lower each year!
4. Just say no…to appliances.
Appliances and electronics are notorious heat generators. This should go without saying for anytime of the year, but if there is an appliance or electronic device you’re not using (such as the computer or tv), turn it off and (if you can) unplug it. Also, try avoiding using them if you don’t need to—especially the oven. Ovens produce a lot of heat and during the summer, they can make things even more unbearable. If you must cook, try using a slow cooker or even an outdoor grill.
5. Drink some water!
This one also should go without saying, but water is a must during the summer. It keeps you cool and hydrated—which is extremely necessary, whether you are hard at work or hardly working. Fill a pitcher with water and ice and stick it in your fridge. That way, you won’t have to run the faucet until the water gets cold enough and you won’t have to deal with the frustration of people forgetting to fill the ice tray.
6. Watch what you eat.
Summer is the best time to make like a cow or antelope and just graze. Eating a lot of food at meal time will make you feel bloated and actually hotter—especially if they contain a lot of protein. Instead of shoveling food in your mouth at dinner time, just eat small bits throughout the day, like an apple now and a sandwich later. It will keep you cooler and is actually better for you.
7. Get out of the house!
Yes, even if it’s blazing hot out, going out and doing things can actually help cool you off. You could go for a hike in the woods or for a swim at the beach. Have a picnic somewhere or even go visit places, like a museum. Summer is also a great time to explore caves and caverns because they are naturally cool places.
That’s all the tips for this week. Check back next week for more!
By Heidi Marshall