Marco Bitran: Can You Save This Summer AND Stay Cool?

It will be here before you know it. Those sizzling summer temperatures can be pretty brutal without air conditioning. But A/C is also expensive and all that energy consumption takes a toll on the environment. Before defaulting to your air conditioner, try these three surefire ways of staying cool when the weather heats up.

  1. Regulate your internal temperature. You can regulate the temperature of your own body in addition to that of the environment. Make sure your body has what it needs to stay as cool as possible, including cold water. On very hot days, you also want to make sure you get enough salt, which is lost through sweat. In addition to what you put in your body, you can also stay cool by what you put on your body, i.e. clothes, bedding, etc. Wear breathable, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing, and use bedding made from breathable fabrics like organic cotton.
  2. Use your windows to your advantage. Close the blinds during the day to keep the sunlight from warning up your home like a greenhouse. You may also want to keep the windows closed during the hottest parts of the day. When it starts to get a little cooler in the late afternoon, you can generate a cross breeze with strategic placement of box fans in your windows to lower your indoor temperature by up to five degrees.

 

  1. Turn off the TV. Major electronics like TVs and computers generate heat, even when they’re turned off. Plug them into a power strip and shut them off when you’re not using them. Using compact florescent lights (CFLs) instead of regular (incandescent) light bulbs, and cooking with the microwave instead of the oven can also help you keep things cooler indoors. Here’s another idea for reducing your appliance usage during hot days: letting your dishes, clothes and hair air-dry.