Thursday, August 5, 2010

Everyday Life~Tips For Staying Cool (AND KOOL)

Boy it's hot all over! Here, and probably where you live.  I don't remember it being this hot EVER! Is your AC handling it or are you sweltering in this heat inside your home?  When we lived down south, we could count on the air conditioning only keeping our home about twenty degrees cooler than the outside heat~sometimes, this was miserable!  An 80 degree house? Yeah, I've lived with that too!

I was thinking that in this heat we need to discuss some tips for staying comfortable and safe in temps like we're having.  What are you doing at your place?  HOW HOT is it there?


1. Cook at night OR prepare and eat cool foods OR use a crock pot or grill to keep the heat totally out of the house.  Cool foods include foods like salads, fruit, cereal~anything you don't have to cook on the stove or oven.  Use the micro wave to keep massive heat out.  It's possible to cook this way~we always cook our baked potatoes, rice and tea this way which is much faster than the stove.  Crock pots make good meat and casseroles.  The slow cooking certainly is less heat than that stove! Lastly, cooking at night during the coolest part of the day will make the activity less miserable.  Be sure and thoroughly cool food and store in the fridge to prevent spoilage.  NO ONE wants to get sick! Fruit smoothies are a cool way to keep hydrated and sound nutrition.  I'll take a banana strawberry one, pleazzzzzzzzzzzzzze!

2. Keep the windows and doors of the side of your home with the hot sun covered.  Evaluate your window coverings and your windows.  Are they like mine were in that ole home we used to own that needed to be replaced because the air flow moved freely?  It's inexpensive to use shades as window treatments, but if you don't want to go to this expense, what about hanging a thick blanket to cover the area?  I know it's not attractive, but your comfort is worth this trade for the sake of function!  I have shades in this home, and the east side of our home gets some hefty sun, so that shade stays down until the sun moves on around later in the day.  In fact, I am keeping all my shades down for the most part until dusk.  It keeps my home cooler this way!

3.  Did you check the air flow around your doors? Are they weather stripped? If not, consider doing this.  If you can't do it right now, you can also tack a blanket up which is totally dysfunctional with people coming and going, but it CAN work if you work it to stay cooler.  I have made under door "draft dodgers" which are tubes that fit up tight next to the door the width of the door to keep air from flowing.  I did mine in solid black and just plain tubes, but you can make yours as fancy as you'd like.  Basically it's a tube the width of the door and no wider than about 4-6 inches filled with anything from beans (didn't do this as I disliked the idea that they could draw bugs), sand, or rocks.  I chose rocks!

4.  Get out of that hot house and go to a water source for the day~swim or water play at a pool or park.  Just be sure to take and apply loads of sun screen! 

5.  Visit the library or go shopping (not buying~LOL)  Head out to SEE what you can see in public places that have air!

6.  Drink lots of W A T E R !!  Notice I did not say liquids. Nothing hydrates better than water in proper amounts!

7.  Keep those fans rolling~ceiling and floor fans! Whatever you have, turn them on and keep them blowing. 

8.  Shut off rooms that are not necessary.  We've done this several times when were were living tightly on a budget where it was too costly to heat/cool the entire home, but the added benefit was that the areas we did were better cooled or heated.  Less space to keep cool will be cooler.  Create a zone for being cool where you can be comfortable.  I have a mudroom without air, and you can bet that we keep the door shut between our air conditioned space at it!  Amazing how hot that space stays!

9.  Do you have an upstairs? We do, and it's much hotter during the day, so I do what I need to early in the day keeping fans on and then sleep there at night.  Scheduling activities inside our homes will help us stay cooler.

10.  Sit outside in the mornings and evenings.  This will make the inside feel literally cooler even if it isn't!  Remember to sit in shade though to prevent becoming overheated while doing this.  Take a cool drink to stay hydrated and refreshed.

11.  Do you have a way to make pops or even frozen yogurt or ice cream? Consider purchasing these items OR the way to fix them.  Recently we learned that we love frozen yogurt which was super easy~we threw them into the freezer and whooola! It's pretty good! I am hoping to have a Hawaiian shaved ice machine soon in my house.  I love slushes and I am going to make my own! You can grind ice with your blender for a frozen treat too! 

What are you doing to combat the heat?  Stay KOOL(NO tips for this one, b/c you ARE, already!

1 comment:

Michelle Smith said...

You have listed some great tips for staying cool. One which we do this time of year which I did not see listed is to exercise early in the morning, then do quieter activities after noon, when it is hottest. :)

I am already doing several other things you have listed, such as not really use the oven this month, but instead use the cooktop, crockpot, or eat food cold. We also use ceiling fans throughout the house.