Is the heat slowing you down this summer? Here are 20 tips to beat the heat – and save energy, too!
By Chere Di Boscio
Ah, summer! We love it, because of the heat. And we also often hate it…because of the heat!
When the sun’s rays come beaming down at full intensity, many of us rush to turn up the AC. Sure, that’s one solution. One energy-guzzling, expensive solution!
Instead of doing that, luckily there are plenty of eco-friendly, money saving alternatives. These tricks and tips to beat the heat this summer that can not only keep you cool, but can also help to reduce your energy bills and your impact on the planet.
20 Tips to Beat the Heat This Summer
1. Wear natural fabrics
Cotton, linen and silk breathe much better and cool the skin more than anything made from artificial fibres. Put the poly back in the closet. Throw on a breezy linen dress, and you’ll feel the difference!
2. At home, ensure the sun stays OUT
This is true especially at peak hours. Cover windows with shutters, as they do in southern Europe. Or if that’s not practical, cover the windows when sun is streaming in the most. Consider your windows and roofing too. For example? Shutters or awnings work best to block sun. Remember: the sun has a powerful heating effect on your home and by blocking it, you’ll cool your house significantly. This is one of our best tips to beat the heat and avoid wasting energy on AC or fans.
3. Get a fan
A fan on a low setting that can keep a light breeze blowing across your room can work wonders. Ceiling fans are best for hot climates, but for occasional heat, stand up fans will do. To boost the effect, drape a cold, damp towel on the front of the fan or place cups of ice in front of it to blow cooler air around.
4. Turn the fan off if not in use
Did you know? A fan’s motor generates heat, but makes you feel cooler because it evaporates the sweat from your skin. If you’re not near it, it’s only heating things up more! That’s why turning it off when you leave the room is another of our tips to beat the heat.
5. Drink a lot of water
This should be one of the most obvious tips to beat the heat. Your body will feel cooler if you are hydrated. Adding mint leaves, or orange, lemon or cucumber slices to your water makes it more tasty and refreshing
6. Spray yourself cool!
Recycle a spray bottle and fill it with rosewater, some peppermint oil and a drop or two of alcohol. Put it in the fridge and spray all over for a refreshing zing. If you prefer to buy a natural face spray, click here for a good list of all natural ones.
7. Saturate a sponge in water
This is one of those tips to beat the heat I actually learned from my gran. Put a wet sponge in a plastic bag and freeze. When you can’t take the heat, take it out and put it on or behind your head. Bonus: this is one ice pack that won’t drip all over the place.
8. Slick your hair back
Do this with water a few times a day to stay cool–the head is very sensitive to temperature and will keep your body cool for hours if it, too, is cool. If you have long hair, be sure to keep it up in a bun or ponytail. Tip: if your pets are suffering, wet their fur, too!
9. Soak A T-shirt
Wet your favourite tee in the sink, wring it out and put it on whilst sitting in front of a fan. Ahhhh!! Defintely one of my favourite tips to beat the heat!
10. Put water on your sleeves
If there is a breeze or fan blowing on you, you will feel the difference, and you won’t look drenched. Perfect if you’re at work!
11. Run cold water over your wrists
Do this for 10 seconds on each hand. This will reduce your body temperature for roughly an hour.
12. Soak your feet
Put your feet in a bucket of cold water infused with peppermint oil. The body radiates heat from the hands, feet, face and ears, so cooling any of these will efficiently cool the body. Peppermint boosts the effect, and smells great, too!
13. Take a cool bath
This seems like one of the more obvious tips to beat the heat, but try this method. First, run a cool bath. Get used to the lower temperature, then add more cold water. Keep doing this until you are sufficiently cold. Your body temperature should stay low even for up to an hour after you’re out of the bath.
14. Wear light colours
This is another of our fashion based tips to beat the heat. Darker colours will absorb the sun’s heat and stay warmer longer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat. And speaking of what to wear–ditch the socks and shoes and don some flip flops if you can–the feet are one of the body parts that tend to overheat.
15. Give your food some fire!
People in hotter regions of the world eat spicy food because it increases perspiration without increasing body temperature much, and we actually perspire to aid the body in cooling. So adding chili to your meals is one of the tastiest tips to beat the heat!
16. Stay downstairs
It can be hard to fall asleep when you’re really hot. Most bedrooms are on the second floor, but as you know, hot air rises. So if you have a sofa bed downstairs, you may feel more comfortable sleeping there. Or better yet, in the cooler basement.
17. Turn off all heat sources,
In alignment with tip 4, you should switch off stoves, computers, TVs and lamps whenever possible. Even if they’re just plugged in and not being used, they still generate quite a bit of heat. You’ll save energy, too! Those items still suck up electricity if they’re plugged in, even when they’re off.
18. Insulate your house
This isn’t just to keep the heat in–a home that has well-insulated walls will actually keep the heat away, too. There are lots of eco friendly insulation options to choose from, such as sheep’s wool.
19. Plant trees
Large plants can shade your home and keep things cooler. No room for a garden? Ivy can also cool walls, as does a greenwall. They look amazing, too!
20. Install air vents in the attic
This allows for more air circulation and makes a huge in cooling the house as a whole.
What do you do to stay cool when the temperatures rise? What are your best tips to beat the heat this summer? Let us know in the comments section, below?