The summer heat and humidity didn’t stop for anyone or anything–not even quarantine. For people who have the privilege of staying home, they at least don’t have to brace the scorching heat of the sun on a daily basis. But then again, things can get cramped inside the house and we can’t really opt to go to the beach or the mall to escape the oven that our houses have become.
Switching on the air conditioner might be a quick fix for some but if you’ve clicked on this article you are most likely avoiding bills piling up on top of each other after quarantine or its environmental impacts and this is very reasonable. So, here are some tips and tricks that can help you efficiently deal with the summer heat dilemma at home.
Wear light, breathable clothing
Photo by Nick Owuor (astro.nic.visuals) on Unsplash
All our suggestions are practically useless if you don’t wear clothes appropriate for the summer heat. As you start your day, go for more loose clothes made from lightweight materials. It is advisable to wear loosely-woven natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) rather than polyester, rayon or other artificial fibers which cling to your skin and make you feel sticky throughout the day.
[READ: How you can beat the heat with linen, the ideal summer fabric]
One thing that’s often overlooked is how the color of our garments actually affect how we physically feel. Lately, I learned that owning mostly dark clothes hasn’t been working in my favor as I find myself already needing to fan myself minutes after wearing them. This is because darker colors absorb the sun’s heat and stay warmer for longer than light clothing, which reflects light and heat. So, when choosing your outfit for the day, you might want to reach for light-colored loose clothing to make things easier for yourself.
Use blinds instead of thick curtains
Up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from our windows and the rays of sunlight it lets in. Though we may feel like we’re remedying this by putting up really thick curtains to block off the sunlight, it actually makes it more humid inside because it’s preventing fresh air from entering.
This is where some really nifty blinds can be put in place. In contrast to thick curtains, blinds give you more control of the amount of air and sunlight you want to fill up your house. You can close blinds halfway and still have shade while keeping air flowing through it unlike curtains and really thick ones that limit air flow. So when it comes to preventing your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, blinds are the way to go.
Hang damp laundry on window panes
But if you feel like using blinds isn’t enough, you can try converting the air coming from your windows into a much cooler breeze by using your damp laundry. Do this by simply opening your windows and hanging damp clothes on them.
Hack your fan
An age-old trick that you might have already expected is turning a fan into an “air conditioner.” All you need are some ice (preferably big chunks) in an open-lid container. Put it in front of your electric fan and then position yourself where the faux chilly breeze can hit you. Works like a charm every time.
Though this might require a bit of a change if you currently don’t have any plants, a natural way to enhance the air quality and make your home cooler is to go for indoor plants. The vapor which comes from watering these plants naturally brings a cooler atmosphere as well as absorbs carbon dioxide and emits oxygen—leaving more room for purified and fresh air in your house. The most recommended indoor plants for cooling homes include: aloe vera, baby rubber plant, golden pothos and snake plant.
Have designated cooking hours
Using your stove or oven inevitably adds heat not only to your kitchen but to the whole house. With this in mind, try to reduce your cooking time to certain parts of the day like early morning so the heat it produces will fade throughout the day. You can also try grilling outside and making sure that the food you will be cooking won’t need to be reheated at night so your summer nights won’t be too hot.
Unplug appliances you’re not using
You know how your charger heats up when you leave it plugged in for too long? Well, this heat from plugged-in electronics even when they’re turned off or not in use actually also contribute to your house’s overall temperature. This is why you might want to unplug chargers, toasters, fans and turn off your lights when you don’t need them. Turning this tip into a habit will not only help you make your house cooler, it will also reduce electricity consumption in the long run.
Cold beverages and snacks
It also helps to cool yourself from within. Aside from keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water (a big duh), sipping on some ice-cold beverages is always a surefire way to lower your body temperature. Try making a milkshake or some ice cream at home for quick pick me ups during this summer.
Do note that overhydration is also something to look out for in individuals with heart, liver or kidney problems. If you have any of these serious health problems, you should be mindful of how much water you drink, since your kidneys may not be able to process an excessive amount of water properly.
Cold cloth to cool points
Another way of cooling yourself from the inside is by activating the “cool points” in one’s body. Quite similar to what we usually do when we have a fever, apply a piece of cold cloth or some ice to strong-pulsed areas like your neck, wrists, knees ankles and yes, even your armpits for an instant refreshing feeling and to make your body temperature drop faster.
Cold compress your feet at night
Aside from turning up the speed setting of your fan or resorting to the AC, you can try making a cold compress and tucking it down by your feet when you’re about to sleep. This is much better than using a damp or frozen blanket which will soil your whole bed. Since your feet are particularly sensitive to temperature changes, putting a cold compress on them will cool your whole body down as you try to fall asleep.
Header photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash
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Writer: JOY THERESE GOMEZ