When the temperatures rise, there are a number of ways to stay comfortable. This guide is about keeping cool in hot weather.
Cool off with these 30 Fun and Easy Tips:
By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY
The dog days of summer are soon upon us and that air conditioner looks mighty tempting, but keep these ideas in mind:
Get a case of half or full liters of water and store a bunch in the freezer until they are frozen solid. While sitting around the house watching TV, reading, etc., place bottles on the the back of your neck, the small of your back, and your lap. You may not even want the fan on since you'll feel so much cooler! And at bedtime or when leaving the house, just pop them back in the freezer for next time.
When you really have to use the A/C, make sure you have a standing fan as well. Fans cost less to use than A/C, but don't quite do the job on the hottest nights. You can run the A/C at a lower cheaper strength and add the fan. It creates an artificial windchill so it FEELS cooler without the higher A/C bill.
By Don from Staten Island, NY
Editor's Note: Do you have any tips for keeping cool during the hot summer? Post them here!
We have had lots of posts about facecloths and we all love them, so here is just one more small benefit. The heat in Europe is fierce these days, and I had been suffering until I remembered a trick I learned in Africa, but is surely well known in the southern USA.
Put a damp face cloth on the back of your neck for a few minutes, then move it around your shoulders, and finally placed it on top of head. I even put it on my chest as I worked on my laptop.
When it became as hot as I was myself, I refreshed with ice cold water and started all over again. I had a comfortable afternoon, and actually forgot it was 100 degrees outside. I have no air conditioning.
Perhaps this would help people to save on energy during these torrid months of summer.
By joanfry from France
I am really enjoying my parasol(s) this summer! Even with a hat and sunglasses, it's much nicer to have one's own shade at an outdoor party or event. And there are a lot of inexpensive options out there.
By pamphyila from L.A., CA
This is a health tip for dangerous hot weather. If you do not have a working air conditioner or only a weak one, put water in empty liter pop bottles or empty Gatorade bottles to about 2/3 of the way, recap and put in freezer over night and freeze.
When weather is too hot, wrap a frozen bottle in a tee shirt or kitchen towel and put it next to your body as you sit, or next to a baby sitting or lying down, or next to an old person. It helps cool the core of the body, so heat stroke is prevented.
Check the feel for comfort level and cover bottle with cloth accordingly. It helps people sleep comfortably and more safely. When mostly thawed, refreeze and swap out with a frozen one.
It acts like a hot water bottle, only in reverse. This is for dangerously hot weather.
Source: Came up with idea one summer when our old air conditioner wasn't working well and we had a heat wave.
By pikka from Westminster, CO
I am making a neck wrap to keep cool in hot weather. What does it get filled with?
By Sandy from Uncasville, CT
If you are just making one or two, get a disposable diaper and cut it open. That's the stuff you use, but be careful. That stuff really expands and you only need a little.
Looking for a way for keeping cool without an air conditioner? Put a large bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan. Turn on the fan. The ice will cool the air from the fan and quickly cool you off. Replace ice cubes as needed.
I keep a sopping-wet micro fiber towel in a sealed Ziploc baggie in my refrigerator. I use the towel to wet myself down when heat gets to be too much. I then rinse the towel, wet it again to level of "soppiness", and cool in the refrigerator.
Since I don't have air conditioning in either my home or car, I keep spray bottles of water around for a quick cool off. When it starts getting hot, I just give myself a quick fine spray. It isn't enough to get really wet.
If you have to go out in this heat and you wear a cloth ball cap. Take some cold water and put it in the hat; wring the hat out so you don't drip on anything and put it on your head. It works. I've done this forever.
One of the best ways of dealing with summer heat as you work outside your home is to wear a clean wet towel around your neck.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to turn my fan into an air cooler? Inexpensively, obviously. I need them to do more than just blow the hot air around, I need them to blow cool air around. I've tried hanging Blue Ice in front of them but it didn't work.
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
I found a site that has instructions on turning your fan into a swamp cooler using a large container with a tight fitting lid, and some hand towels.
To keep cool on a very hot day, turn on your fan and arrange a bowl of ice-cubes in front of it. Just like having an air-conditioner without the cost. Enjoy!
I keep a large shoe-box-sized plastic container in the freezer filled with feed corn. It's actually wide enough for both of my bare feet to fit side-by-side. On hot days, or if my feet hurt, I pull it out, stick my feet into plastic bags, then dig my toes deep into the feed corn!
Years ago when I worked in a nursing home, the halls were air conditioned, but not the individual rooms. We would take a hand towel, soak it in cold water, ring it out and wrap around our necks, repeating as necessary. I have done this frequently at home, too.
Keep a few cans of tuna or chicken in the fridge, for in those times when you need a quick meal. They'll be great to either drain and toss on top of a green salad or a quickie dish of tuna or chicken salad.
Water is an ideal drink to cool your body. If choosing other drinks, when perspiring, consider the caffeine and sugar content. The sugar draws fluids away from the muscles where it's needed, plus adds calories.
I want to make some neck coolers to keep us cool from the heat. I plan to make them from material. I keep reading that most of them you can purchase online have some kind of gel beads that help to keep you cool. I'm not sure where to locate these gel beads to make them. If you have any ideas they would sure be appreciated.
April from Henderson, NV
This is what you are looking for:
I make hot/cool packs that are filled with regular rice (not Minute rice). They're very easy to make and you can warm them in the microwave to make a hot pad or put in the freezer for a cool pack. They last forever too!
I was told once that the material on the inside is the same stuff as inside disposable diapers. It sounds gross, but you can see how that would work. (08/15/2005)
I made them for my elderly parents who have no air conditioning. The polymer gel material can be found in the garden section of Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowes. One of the brand names is "Watersorb". It's about $7 a bottle, but you need very little. It's original use is to help houseplants retain water so you don't have to water so often.
I took bandannas I bought at the Dollar store, sewed them into neckerchiefs, leaving one small opening where I poured in about 2 tsp of the polymer gel, then hand sewed the opening shut.
Soak the completed neckerchief in cold water; it will puff up with the retained moisture. Store in the frig between uses. Easy and cheap way to keep cool. (08/16/2005)
You can buy the gel beads in craft stores (Michael's, A J Moore, etc.) and in the plant dept. of Home Depot, etc. They are also used in plants to hold moisture when you can't water. The directions for making the neck coolers are available on the internet. (08/18/2005)
I made a few of these to use at an outdoor exhibit we attended this past summer:
Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water. Pour carefully into the long skinny balloons that clowns make animals, hats, etc. out of, and tie it shut. Encase the filled balloon with a long terrycloth towel, carefully sewing the ends. Pop it into the freezer. It won't freeze hard, it will only gel. This alcohol and water mixture works great in gallon sized zipper bags for sprains as it stays cold and conforms to the injury site better than hard ice packs. (09/08/2005)
The chemical in the gel that everyone is talking about is potassium polyacrylate. That is a powder. The crystals I have are polyacrylamide. The potassium polyacrylate is the same or very similar to the powder in diapers. This substance can hold up to 500x its size in water. One brand is Aquagel and it also goes by the name Slush Powder. Magicians use it make water "dissapear".
One can buy the crystals designed for usewith plants or you can harvest it from cheap diapers.
You may choose to simply cut out the absorbent bottom of a diaper and use it whole, or you can carefully cut off the "fabric" liner of the inside to reveal the powder. You will definitely need to wrap the chemical in a water type bag.
I purchase my gel beads at watersorb.com they work great and also very fast shipping. Hope this helps. (07/04/2006)
There is a difference between the gels. The gel in diapers breaks down a lot faster than the other meant for plants. The stuff for plants will cost more, but will last for 7-10 years. Polyacrylamide is what you want. (07/10/2007)
It's called silica gel. Craft stores carry it. When you purchase new purses, etc. there is a small white packet to keep it smelling fresh. Thats silica gel. You don't need much to make a neck cooler. Good luck. (07/04/2008)
This tip is about keeping cool while being outside in triple digit temps. I wet my cotton sleeveless shirt in refrigerator cooled water and do the same with a kingsize cotton pillow case. I wrap it around my neck, then tuck inside (looks cool if you match them together). Wet your hair in cool water, I do a ponytail and a white material head visor from the .99 cent store. I have a small spray bottle with cool water at the ready. I also site outside in the shade and soak my feet in cool water. I like being outside and this makes a huge difference.
By Pamela from Sun Lakes, AZ
I get those windshield sun screens from the $ store. It looks like a large piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and place them in every window of the house. i keep dark curtains also on the windows. The house is 10 degrees lower than the outside temp. (08/18/2009)
I would like to read about other peoples ideas for getting cool during hot weather.