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Keeping Cool in Hot Weather

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Woman Cooling Off in Front of Fan
When the temperatures rise, there are a number of ways to stay comfortable. This guide is about keeping cool in hot weather.


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By 8 found this helpful
July 16, 2010

Cool off with these 30 Fun and Easy Tips:

  1. Run through the sprinkler with your kids, get out the slip and slide, the super soaker or the kiddie pool (add ice cubes).

  2. Have a water balloon fight.

  3. Plug in the fans, add streamers. Mind your fingers! Put a bowl of ice in front of the fan for added cooling power.

  4. Place a wet sheet in the open window. As the breeze passes through, you'll cool the room a bit. Frugal wind chill!

  5. Go swimming. You don't sweat underwater!

  6. Take a cold shower.

  7. Freeze your shower gel before using.

  8. Have your spouse or your kids run an ice cube up and down your back.

  9. Stand in front of the freezer case at your local grocery.

  10. Re-visit your basement (clean it out while you are down there cooling off).

  11. Go ice skating.

  12. Visit an air conditioned mall, library, or museum.

  13. Head to a local cave where it is always about 54 degrees F.

  14. Buy lemonade from the kids in your neighborhood.

  15. Make your own sun tea, popsicles, or fruit smoothies.

  16. Drink your coffee iced.

  17. Think cool - tell yourself you are comfortable. Mind over matter really works!

  18. Visit your local ice-cream parlor.

  19. Wear linen, a straw hat, light colored clothing.

  20. Watch "Cool" Movies: Happy Feet, Cool Hand Luke, Ice Age.

  21. Listen to "Cool" Tunes: Ice-T, Vanilla Ice, Ice Cube.

  22. Read a "Cool" Book: Scott of the Antarctic by David Crane, Into Think Ari by Jon Krakauer.

  23. Put the top down ANYWAY!

  24. Eat a salad dinner, picnic style.

  25. Wash your car - Water hose fight!

  26. Stay hydrated.

  27. Sleep.

  28. Exercise in the very early morning.

  29. Close the damper on your fireplace to keep out hot air

  30. Adopt a Cooling yoga position-seated forward bends, roll your tongue into a tube, and breathe in and out through it; pressing your chin to your chest as you breathe in. Check and search for cooling breath for a video.

By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY

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July 16, 20100 found this helpful

Oops, typo: "Into Thin Air" is the title of Jon Krakauer's book.

Also, if you shut up the house to keep the hot air out, and open it up at night to cool it off, assuming things do cool off at night, you will be far more comfortable.

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By 7 found this helpful
June 10, 2010

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!

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

My boyfriend fills a bucket with cold water and soaks his feet while watching TV. He says it really works and it cools him right down!

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

As soon as the air starts to change at night, take a large fan and point it facing OUT the window. It takes the hot air and blows it back outside. It helps to have a window in a cross breeze open too, helps suck in some cool air. When the temp is noticeably cooler, flip the fan around to bring in the cool night air. By timing it when the air outside starts to cool, you'll get the hot air outside while it's still cooling off, when you've sucked most of it out, by this time the night air is much cooler.

We live in a 2 story townhouse with no A/C or central heat, so this has saved us on the hot nights! A large box or round fan (the ones that sit on the floor) are the best for this and work wonders!

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

Here in southern Wisconsin, the summer nights can sometimes go into the low 70's or high 60's. I close up the house, I open the window in my bedroom, and put a fan in a window of another room, blowing out. The fan pulls the cool air through my bedroom. This solves running the AC at night, which in my townhouse, is very inefficient since my bedrooms are upstairs, and the thermostat is downstairs. The upstairs can get very warm, while the downstairs is too cold.

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

You can't open the windows to blow the heat out if you have allergies like mine, I get a sinus infection every time! I've heard the "old-timer's " trick of putting your feet in a bucket of water,they say it works even better with a fan blowing on your legs & the water. Another "old-timer's" trick is to hand a wet towel in front of the fan to cool the air, but it's so humid here in Tulsa,I don't think I'd try it!

I get a lot hotter than my hubby, especially when I was having hot flashes in the summer. I got one of those little battery operated hand fans they sell in Walmart for $1 & when I get hot I turn it onto the back of my neck for a few seconds & cool right down.

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June 13, 20100 found this helpful

We can't have A/C due to hubby's health. I tried reusable ice packs that you fill with water, but they sprang leaks. I've used a wet washcloth put in the freezer for a couple of hours and wrapped around the back of my neck. That worked to a point, but I may have found a better idea for this year: I bought a reusable hot/cold gelpack. This is about 6" x 3" or 4", so it's just the right size.

When I'm sitting at my desk on a sweltering day, I can either wrap it around the back of my neck or balance it on top of my head. In a pinch, I can even tuck it into my waistband or tuck it down the back of my shirt. (Don't laugh, it works for me.) A gelpack should be more efficient than the ice packs and cool longer and better than the washcloth. I actually plan to keep a couple of these handy, one to use hot for aches, one for cold use.

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By 6 found this helpful
August 31, 2011

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

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By 10 found this helpful
July 8, 2009

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

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July 8, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Pikka,

This is a great idea but it wouldn't work for me. I have a condition called cold urticaria (essentially meaning 'cold hives'). In extremely cold conditions, I break out in huge welts and become very itchy and swollen wherever my skin is unprotected. This can also happen when I wash my hands with cold water or handle ice, or even after typing for long periods or during swimming. Cold urticaria is especially dangerous for swimmers who do not take an antihistamine prior to going into the water.

I am posting this simply as a precaution for anyone who uses a frozen water bottle to cool themselves. If you see hives beginning to form, remove the frozen bottle immediately and wipe any water away with a towel. Warming the skin with water will not necessarily improve the hives but should stop them from getting worse.

Wikipedia has a good article on the causes and treatments of cold urticaria: http://en.wikip  i/Cold_urticaria

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July 9, 20090 found this helpful

I was going to suggest a fan and water spritzer, but evidently from the Wikipedia article that too would cause hives in some, as sweat alone can.

But for others, I've tested the fan +spritz in relatively humid New York, and it cools beautifully, even a bit much! No need for a plastic container or the freezer, or even electricity if you have a good hand fan.

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July 8, 2010

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

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July 8, 20100 found this helpful

I'm sorry but I don't know what this is. Could you please let me know what Parasol is? Thank You Linda

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By 6 found this helpful
July 23, 2010

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.

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By 4 found this helpful
July 10, 2012

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.

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By 5 found this helpful
July 19, 2010

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.

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By 5 found this helpful
June 2, 2010

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
June 10, 2013

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.

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August 25, 2009

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 2, 2008

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!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 7, 2006

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.

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By 1 found this helpful
April 10, 2014

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!

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June 8, 2007

For a nice pick-me-up for upcoming summer weather, put your spray on body mists or sprays in the refrigerator to keep them cold! When you spritz yourself, it's a nice treat to have tingling cold and pretty smelling mist rather then room temperature!

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July 7, 20060 found this helpful

Tips for cooking in hot weather.

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July 7, 20060 found this helpful

Tips for dealing with hot weather. Post your ideas.

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August 13, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about keep cool by cooking outside. Cooking inside during the heat of the summer not only heats up the kitchen but the entire house.

Barbecue grill with a variety of meats, shish kabobs, corn and veggies with a family in the background

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July 26, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 27, 2009

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

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April 27, 20090 found this helpful

In the old days they used to put bowls of ice water in front of them to make a swampcooler-sort of thing. I have had success with that & just cold water. (The water evaporates, using heat, thereby cooling some of air) - It does help a BIT - but not in a big way - Also make sure your windows are shaded to keep hot sun out.

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April 27, 20090 found this helpful

You could use dry ice, but it puts carbon dioxide in the air so you'd need ventilation! I would stick with regular ice or about 10 (or more) of the blue ice. Put it on a table right in front of the fan. You can also spray water in front of the fan while you stand there. The mist feels good when it lands on you & is refreshing!

Another idea: You may be able to soak a furnace filter in water & wire lean this against the front (& maybe also the back) of the fan.

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May 4, 20090 found this helpful

The oldest way is to hang a wet bathtowel in front of it and re-wet it as needed.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 25, 20090 found this helpful

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


Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

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)

By Julius T. Ocrey

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July 9, 20090 found this helpful

I would like to read about other peoples ideas for getting cool during hot weather.

By Eliza Maria from Chevy Chase, MD


Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

Wear loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers -

Drink lots of fluids - like ice tea

Shield your windows from the sun -

Use a fan in your car or truck if it lacks A/C

Take advantage of natural ventilation to move air around.

Attic insulation or fans help keep a house cool.

If you have an AC unit, you can direct its flow with fans -

Close down some rooms of the house/apt. and use the cool rooms. (In NYC we used to have one AC in the bedroom and virtually live there all summer!)

You can put bowls of water and/or water with ice cubes in front of fans to make a mini-swamp cooler.

Use your microwave as opposed to the oven!

If you are very hot put on wet clothing and let it dry on you, as they do in the tropics.

If you like hot food, indulge, as chilies make you sweat, and cool you naturally.

Use a sun shield on your windshield when you park your car to reduce heat build up.

Stay in the shade - and make some with a parasol or awning.

And think cool! (04/27/2009)

By pamphyila

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

When I am going to go for a walk or be out in the sun working I wet a wash cloth and then leave it in a wringed up shape and freeze it then take it with me as as it starts to thaw it is wonderful to lay around my neck to stay cool, I do this also with crushed ice in baggies if at concerts etc to stay cool. Or wet bandannas and do the same but put on your head as head wear to stay cool works for kids to in the hot sun. (04/27/2009)

By theseamstress

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

Inside or outside, a wet bathing suit helps to stay cool. Get in the shower, or get wet with a hose or even a play pool. (04/27/2009)

By ericksonjmarie

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

This brings to mind a story; my younger brother was about 8 years old. We had no air conditioning at the time. He would always go put on his heavy winter coat in the middle of July! My mother asked him why he was wearing a heavy coat when it was so hot. His reply was, "It's so cool when I take it off!" (04/27/2009)

By vguy

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

They sell a product that you put in the fridge overnight and then wrap around your neck when it's hot. It looks like a bandanna. I've seen my "horsey" friends wear them. If I'm out gardening I sometimes take a spray bottle with me and spray my face from time to time. We live way out in the country. (04/27/2009)

By Glenn'sMom

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

I make my own ice bags for around my neck. I use a dish towel or hand towel, one that is long enough to go around my neck with enough left to over-lap a few inches. If the towel is narrow, I fold it in thirds lengthwise. If it is wide, I fold it in half, then in thirds. The center 8" is for ice, so I sew a line of stitching across the strip on each side of the 8" mark. You can sew by hand or by machine. I sew a small strip of velcro where it overlaps when around my neck to keep it in place. The tri-fold makes a pocket so the ice won't fall out. I made several and after using they are machine washable and dryable and can be used from year to year. (04/27/2009)

By Anonymous

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

Drink lots of water, splash your face and arms with cool water, and don't eat a lot of greasy food. (04/28/2009)

By yarnlady

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

That bandana thing that Glenn's Mom said she has seen? I bought one for myself a couple of years ago. What a waste of money! When it's wet the thing weighs a ton! Sure it kept me cold, but in the meantime I got an ache in my neck and shoulders to beat all!

I keep a spray bottle with me that sprays a mist. When I get hot I spray my face, arms and legs. Even lift my shirt up and spray my belly and back. I also do the same for my dogs. I spray their bellies and faces too. (05/04/2009)

By Cricketnc

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

My house is situated on the lot so that the front of the house gets the full force of the sun in the afternoon. Needless to say it gets so hot it wilts any plants I put in front of those windows. So I put up room darkening film on my windows----the darkest they make. I used to use dark curtains but then I feel like I'm in a dungeon all summer. The film works just as good without the dungeon feeling. I also put up room darkening screening. That way on days when I can open the windows, it's not so bad. (05/04/2009)

By Cricketnc

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

I mow my lawn daily (we have almost 2 acres and I do it in sections, one section a day) using a power push mower. I do this for the exercise. But when the weather gets too hot, I make a slight change. I put my bathing suit on with shorts (at my age the neighbors don't need to see me just in my bathing suit). I wet myself down all over wiith either a shower or the hose and mow while I'm wet.

By the way, I found the best sunscreen I've ever used. And I'm sensitive to sunburn. It's a sport performance SPF 50. I haven't had the slightest burn since I started using it! (05/04/2009)

By Cricketnc

Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

I lived without airconditioning for years - didn't like it, but my house didn't have it. Some of the things I did was use a window fan - not the kind you buy at Wal-Mart (they're too little). If you can find one of the older ones (the old green kind - made of metal - about 40 years old), those are the best. If you do use one of those types of fans, don't open the windows all the way, one or two in every room open about 5 or 6 inches creates a nice air flow. An attic fan would be even better. Do most of your housework or yard work in the early morning or evening when it's cool. You might have to shower a couple of times a day on very, very hot days. Be sure to use lots of baby powder afterwards. Do not wear polyester or polyester blends as they tend to be hot. Wear natural cotton as much as possible.

On very, very hot days plan to go shopping where there is air conditioning or somewhere like Barnes and Noble where you can sit and read for a while. I used to go for a drive in my air conditioned car until it got cool.

I always have to have something covering me when I sleep, so a sheet worked very nicely.

In the evening, I would take a cool shower, use the baby powder and go to bed in front of my window with the summer breeze blowing across me. To this day, I prefer that rather than a colder air conditioned room.

The other ideas of wearing wet clothes are good also. If I absolutely had to mow the lawn, sometimes I'd leave the hose running and every five minutes or so, I'd go hose down - it was very effective in keeping me cool.

Another thing I noticed is when I'd come in very hot after mowing, water would make me nauseous. I'd need to drink koolaid with sugar or juice. However, if you're not working that hard, sweetened drinks do tend to make you hotter. For normal thirst, the best thing is water or tea or a light juice. Sweetened sodas will make you feel hotter. (05/05/2009)

By Noella

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