How to survive summer without AC
LET’S face it: It’s hot out, and it’s only going to get warmer as summer goes on. While it’s tempting to crank the AC or plant yourself in front of the nearest fan, these aren’t the only tricks to keeping cool.
It turns out there are plenty of ways to buffer your home from the heat without racking up your electric bill. And they’ll make you feel like a DIY champ, too.
Keep your cool, and…
1. Choose cotton. Save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.
2. Feel the freezer burn. Stick sheets in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before bed. We recommend placing them in a plastic bag first (unless eu de frozen pizza is your fave aromatherapy scent). Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat and humidity.
3. Get cold comfort. Here’s a four-seasons tip for keeping utilities charges down: Buy a hot water bottle. In winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking the thermostat. During summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack. 4. Be creative. If you thought fans are just for blowing hot air around, think again! Point box fans out the windows so they push hot air out, and adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.
5. Sleep like an Egyptian. If there seem to be a lot of Egyptian references in this list, it’s because those Nile-dwellers knew how to do it right. The so-called “Egyptian method” involves dampening a sheet or towel in cool water and using it as a blanket. We recommend laying the damp sheets on top of a dry towel to avoid soaking the mattress.
6. Get loose. Less is definitely more when it comes to summertime jammies. Pick a loose, soft cotton shirt and shorts or underwear. Going full nudie during a heat wave is (unsurprisingly) controversial.
Some people believe it helps keep them cool, while others claim going au natural means sweat stays on the body instead of being wicked away by fabric. We’re going to chalk this one up to personal preference.
7. Go old-school Remember when refrigerators were iceboxes that contained actual blocks of ice? Us neither. This stay-cool trick is straight out of the icebox era, though. Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.
8. Create a cross-breeze. In this case, hanging out in the cross-hairs is a good idea. Position a fan across from a window, so the wind from outside and the fan combine in a cooling cross-breeze. Feeling fancy? Go buck-wild and set up multiple fans throughout the room to make the airflow even more boisterous.
9. Pamper your pulses. Need to cool down, stat? To chill out superfast, apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees.
10. Be a lone wolf. Sorry lovebugs, but sleeping alone is way better than spooning for staying cool. Cuddling with a partner increases body heat, making the bed a sticky, sweaty pit of despair instead of a cool, calm oasis
11. Fill up the tank. Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Just eight ounces will do the trick, unless you’re really into those 3 a.m. bathroom runs.)
12. Cool off. A cold shower takes on a whole new meaning come summertime. Rinsing off under a stream of tepid H20 brings down the core body temperature and rinses off sweat (ick) so you can hit the hay feeling cool and clean.
13. Get low. Hot air rises, so set up your bed, hammock, or cot as close to the ground as possible to beat the heat. In a one-story home, that means hauling the mattress down from a sleeping loft or high bed and putting it on the floor. If you live in a multi-floor house or apartment, sleep on the ground floor or in the basement instead of an upper story.
14. Turn off the lights. This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Light bulbs (even environmentally-friendly CFLS) give off heat. Fortunately, summer means it stays light until eight or nine at night.
Take advantage of natural light as much as possible, and keep rooms cool after dark by using lights minimally or not at all (romantic candle-lit dinner, anyone?). - Gretist