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Ah, summer – that time of year when it’s time to plan vacations, hit the beach, and enjoy long sunny days. It’s also the time of year when temperatures rise and the blazing sun beats down on us. Temperatures across the globe have been rising every year it seems and these scorching temperatures take a toll on our mental and physical well-being and even worse, on our wallets through rising electrical bills. Still, there are ways of staying cool that don’t involve cranking the AC and setting your thermostat to 60. Here are four of the best tips for beating that summer heat.

child in summer playing water american flag

Water Yourself

First, you have to stay hydrated. When your body temperature goes above normal (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), your brain sends out signals to your body telling it to cool itself down. This causes you to sweat, and the evaporating sweat carries heat away from your body. That sweat has to come from somewhere, however. And if you don’t keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, you’re going to suffer. So when you know you’re going to be sweating, pregame by drinking two cups of water beforehand.

Another benefit of drinking cold liquids is that if you’re already hot, drinking cold water will cool you down from the inside. If you relish ice cold water, reuse your empty plastic drink containers. Fill them halfway with water and lay them on their side in the freezer. When the water freezes, you can fill them the rest of the way with cold water and have ice cold water for quite a while.

plant by window

Use Your Windows Responsibly

Keeping your house relatively cooler than the hot outside is easy as long as you have a couple of portable fans and some windows. Keep your windows closed during the day and open them at night. The night air is cooler than the day, and by positioning your box fans to create a draft through your house, you can get your home comfortable at night. If it’s still really hot at night, take a flat bedsheet and spray it with cold water. Hang it where you’re drawing air into your home. The damp sheet will cool the air as it’s brought in, helping reduce the temperature to something less like the interior of an oven.

During the day, you can make a makeshift air conditioner by placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan. The fan will blow warm air over the ice, which will cool it down significantly. If you live in a place where the summer gets muggy as well as hot, investing in a dehumidifier will make things seem much cooler. When the air is saturated with moisture when it’s humid, your sweat can’t evaporate easily. That means your body’s primary cooling mechanism is hindered. Make the air less humid, and your sweat can cool you down much more easily.

And don’t forget, if you have ceiling fans, set them to rotate counter clockwise. The easiest way to check is to turn your fan on. If you feel a breeze immediately, it’s set correctly. If you don’t, then look for a switch on the side of the fan. That will start your fan running in the opposite direction. Also, take this time to clean your fan blades so you aren’t blowing dust and allergens all over your house.

hot grilling corn hot dogs

Avoid Generating Heat Yourself

When we say avoid generating heat, we mean you should avoid certain chores during the day. Don’t run your dryer or your dishwasher. Additionally, when it comes to cooking, don’t use your oven or stovetop. Cook your foods using appliances that don’t generate much heat.

Rice cookers are versatile tools that can cook more than just rice. Don’t forget about your crockpot either. While crockpots are usually associated with winter comfort meals, you can make great summer fare that includes chicken tacos, macaroni and cheese, and even crockpot lasagna. Use your microwave for potatoes or to warm up leftovers. And don’t forget about the classic method of summer cooking – pop open the grill and grill everything from hot dogs to pizza. With new grill mats, you can even grill foods that would normally fall through the grate. Plus, while you’re outside, you can cool off in the evening air.

sleeping cuddling white blankets

Keeping Yourself Cool at Night

If you find yourself overheating when it’s bedtime, you can cool off pretty quickly by applying something cold to your body’s cooling points. These points are at your temple, the side of your neck, inside your elbow, your wrist, behind your knee, and your ankle. Freeze a water bottle and use it as an icepack that’s not going to leak all over your bed.

If it’s late at night and you can’t sleep, use the Egyptian Method. This is where you cover up with a cool damp bath towel. You want it so it’s damp, but not dripping wet. Place a dry towel underneath you and cover up with the damp towel. It will provide a lot of cooling power for those hot nights. Alternately, you can use a damp sheet.

If it’s exceptionally hot, move to the floor. If you still can’t sleep, take some extreme measures and dunk your feet in a bucket of cold water. This will cool you off very quickly, letting you get to sleep before you get hot again.

When temperatures rise, you need ways to stay cool. With some techniques and strategies, you can lower your temperature, have fun, and keep money in your wallet.

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