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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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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