Turning on the AC isn’t the only way to fight the summer heat. You can quickly cool off―and stay refreshed all day and night―without spending a bundle, or even anything at all. Try these all-natural, low-tech ideas.
Cooling down the house can be as easy as opening a window. Overnight ventilation is key―before you sleep, open the windows to allow cool air to circulate through the house. During the day, hang a thin, damp sheet in front of the open window to create a cool breeze. But when temperatures hit their peak, from about noon to 2 p.m., make sure all windows are shut tight to keep out the stifling air.
Move over, ice pops! While it may seem silly, putting a shirt in the freezer for a few minutes is a quick and effective heat-buster that doesn’t cost a dime. To keep cool while you sleep, fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the ends securely and freeze for two hours. Before bed, place the sock between your sheets, and you’ll be sleeping comfortably in no time.
Your body releases much of its heat through your head and feet. Take off your shoes and go barefoot as often as you can―as long as the surface you’re walking on is safe.
Although appliances help you run your household, they also warm it up fast. When you can’t bear any extra heat, skip the oven and prepare dinner on an outdoor grill or in the microwave. And try to put off using the dishwasher and dryer until the evening, when it’s cooler outside.
Fill a shallow bowl with ice, and place it in front of the fan. As the ice melts and evaporates, the air from the fan will help spread the cold vapor throughout the room. For a quick cooling sensation, apply a peppermint-based lotion or moisturizer to your face or neck, and plant yourself in front of the breeze.
Keep your refrigerator stocked with small bottles filled with cold water, then simply spray yourself throughout the day for instant relief.
If the temperature at home is simply unbearable, go on a field trip. Most public buildings are air-conditioned, so take a stroll around the mall, see a movie or read a book in the library for a chilly escape.
Wet your wrists and other pulse points, such as your neck and temples, for a quick cool down. For a longer-lasting solution, wrap a piece of ice in a paper towel and dab it on your wrists.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with moisture that helps your body stay hydrated and comfortable. Stash bags of produce in the refrigerator so you can take them on the run. For an extra crisp snack, freeze some melon cubes or grapes.
Since long hair can stick to the back of your neck in humidity and leave you feeling uncomfortable, consider a shorter hairstyle during the warmer months. For a low-cost or free cut, call up the nearest beauty school or ask your salon if trainees offer discounts.
Your lamp may be giving off more than a pretty glow, as incandescent bulbs get hot, warming the room as a result. Replace your old light bulbs with fluorescents, which use less energy and don’t emit as much heat.