Before you reach for that AC button, raise your carbon footprint, and dry out your nasal passages with bacteria-filled air, consider cooling down the old-fashioned way this summer. It may not be possible to make these energy-saving modifications to your home or grow mature shade trees in time to beat the heat, but these tried and true methods are a quick fix that will provide relief on the days you’re not at the pool.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—and this applies to heatwaves! In other words, focus on keeping the heat out of your home in the first place. Draw your blinds, place leafy indoor plants in sunny spots, and try to keep windows closed in the full-on heat of day. If your climate is cooler on summer nights, position your fans to draw outside air in.
- Fans are your new best friend. Use hand fans when out and about on the street and electric fans at home, but remember to turn them off when you leave the room, because fans are people coolers, and there is no point in keeping them running if no one is in the room. On those sweltering summer nights, position a bowl of ice in front of your fans to create au naturel AC.
- Keep yourself hydrated. You will need lots of fluids in summer to compensate for the rising temperatures but your skin will also benefit from an external misting, especially if you’re sitting in front of a fan. Use a well-cleaned spray bottle filled with water (or rose water if you’re feeling fancy) and add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil for a dose of aromatherapy to boot (we like lavender).
- Embrace the wet towel. This is an unconventional, though very effective method of beating the too-hot-to-sleep-without-AC conundrum. Before bedtime, saturate a towel with cold water and hop into bed in your birthday suit, draping the towel over your body. It’s amazing how fast this cools the body; before you know it, your temperature will be cool enough to induce those sleep hormones that send you off to see the sandman.
- Apply a cold towel to your wrists and neck. When you cool these pulse points, the blood circulating through your body will cool and make you feel more comfortable. Keep some washcloths in your refrigerator or freezer handy for this purpose (you can also freeze your sheets for hot nights).
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