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Published on June 6th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans


5 Ways to Beat Summer Heat

Summertime heat can be scorching but summer months do not have to be devoted to air conditioning your home.

While you can modify your house to keep the heat out, there are many minor and inexpensive strategies that you can employ to keep cool.

Beat the Heat - Create a Cross Breeze

  • Fabrics and clothing choices can have a significant impact on regulating personal temperature.
    • Wearing loose fitting and light-colored apparel is an easy way to look great and ensure a comfortable temperature.
    • Using bed sheets and linens made from natural, breathable fabrics such as organic cotton (instead of a synthetic fabric) helps to wick moisture away from your body at night, leaving you cool and dry.

  • Modern conveniences
    , which are designed to make life easier, often heat up the home. Luckily, a few changes in your routine can go a long way towards keeping your house cool.

    • Electronic appliances, such as televisions and computers, emit heat even when not in use. Plugged into a power strip, these devices are easily switched on and off.
    • The kitchen can be one of the warmest rooms in the house, so try using the microwave instead of the oven whenever possible.
    • Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use one-fifth of the energy and produce less heat than incandescent bulbs while providing the same amount of light.
  • With a little bit of planning ahead, it is relatively simple to limit the amount of hot air used in your home.
    • Turn off the drying cycle on your dishwasher. Opening the door and allowing the dishes to air-dry can be almost as quick and a lot more energy efficient.
    • Let your clothes dry on a line. Not only do you eliminate the need to pump hot air into your dryer, but air-drying actually helps clothes last longer.
    • Decrease your dependence on a hair dryer. Either stop drying midway through your routine or let it dry completely naturally. This will prevent your bathroom from becoming too tropical, and your head cool as your hair dries.

  • Sun
    that shines directly into your home warms it up during the day, so draw the shades on non-north facing windows. This works best if the barrier is outside the windows, stopping the sun before it hits the glass.

    • Keep the windows closed during the hottest parts of the day. When you do choose to open a window, make sure a second window is opened to allow a cross breeze.
    • To maximize effectiveness, use a fan in one window to pull hot air out, and another to pull air in. A breeze of 1 mph can make you feel 4 degrees colder.
    • A good trick for especially hot days is to hang wet fabric in front of an open window to cool down the air.
  • And most importantly—water, water, water! Drinking water is more important than ever in the hot summer months. Make sure you are also getting enough salt to replenish that lost in sweat. Your body does a good job all on its own of regulating your temperature, so make sure it has the tools to do so.

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