So you can stay cool without using the air conditioning
(CNN) — Whether you’re without power, facing extreme heat, or trying to save money, there are ways to stay comfortable without artificial cooling.
The heat can be conducive to fun summer activities, but the body should not be too hot for too long, as too much heat can damage the brain and other organs, according to US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sweating is the body’s natural cooling system, but when it’s not enough, you increase your risk of developing hyperthermia, the illness related to excessive heat, signs of which include heat cramps, edema, and heat stroke.
You can stay cool by using a few basic supplies and knowing how to manipulate your home to control its temperatures. Here we present 14 methods to achieve it.
When you’re hot and flushed, hydrating is the first and foremost step in cooling down, says Wendell Porter, professor emeritus of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida.
The temperature of the water doesn’t matter, as your body will warm it up, he added. If your body suffers from the heat and needs to cool down, it cannot do so without sufficient humidity, since the body cools itself by sweating.
Take a shower or bath with cold water
Taking a cold shower or bath helps cool the body by lowering core temperature, says Porter.
If you want to freshen up more, try mint soap. The menthol in peppermint oil activates brain receptors that signal to your body that something you are eating or feeling is cold.
Use cold cloths on the neck or wrists
Place a cold cloth or ice packs on your wrists or around your neck to cool your body. These pulse points are areas where the blood vessels are close to the skin, so you you will cool faster.
Use box fans
Place box fans facing the windows of rooms where you spend the most time to exhaust hot air and replace it with cool air indoors.
If the weather in your area tends to be between 10°C and 21°C in the mornings and evenings, opening the windows on both sides of the house during those hours can facilitate a cross-flow ventilation system. If you do this, you can choose whether or not to use the fans, but they would help cool the house down more quickly, Porter says. The outside can pull hot air out of your home, leaving a cooler temperature or bringing in a breeze. You just have to make sure to close the windows when the sun comes out and open them when the weather turns cool again.
Windows may not be often left open for security reasons, but if you’re still home more because of the pandemic, this method might be feasible, Porter said.
Simply resting near a fan would also lower your body temperature.
Close the curtains or blinds
If you have windows facing the direction of the morning and afternoon sun, close the curtains or blinds over them to “keep the sun from coming directly into the house and heating (the) interior,” Porter said.
You can also install blackout curtains to insulate the room and reduce the rise in temperature that would occur during the day.
If you do turn on the air conditioner, don’t set it below 70 degrees in an effort to cool the house down faster, said Samantha Hall, CEO of Spaces Alive, an Australia-based design research firm that helps create buildings. healthy and sustainable.
“It just works longer to get to that temperature and it will keep working until you start to get a little cold and then it’s hard to balance,” he added. Instead, keep the temperature of the unit as high as possible while remaining comfortable.
sleep with breathable bedding
Cotton is one of the most breathable materials, so cotton sheets or blankets can help keep you cool at night.
How much the lower the number of threads of cotton, the more breathable it will be, according to Porter. This is because higher thread counts have more fabric per square inch.
sleep in the basement
If you can’t sleep through the night because you’re too hot, try sleeping somewhere other than your bedroom, if you have that option. Heat rises, so if you have a lower floor or basement in your home, set up a temporary sleeping area there to experience cooler temperatures at night.
Do not refrigerate or freeze blankets or clothing
The most common tip for staying cool without air conditioning is to refrigerate or freeze wet socks, blankets, or clothing and take them out until bedtime. But this is not a good idea, says Porter.
Because of “the amount of energy they can absorb from your body at night, they’ll heat up in a matter of minutes,” he said. “And then you’d have wet stuff that could mold your mattress. So you definitely don’t want to do that.”
Close doors to unused rooms
If no one is using a room that doesn’t have vents, close the door to that area to keep cold air confined to only occupied areas of the house.
Use the extractor fan in the kitchen and/or bathroom
Activate the extractor fan switch in the kitchen to extract the hot air that rises after cooking, or the one in the bathroom to extract the steam after the shower.
Install energy-saving light bulbs
Incandescent bulbs generate a higher temperature than LED bulbs. To make the switch, keep an eye out for discounts on energy-saving light bulbs, then slowly replace the light bulbs in your home, Porter explains.
Changing light bulbs can save money, but it won’t cut much heat in the home, Hall said. However, if you focus on changing the bulbs in areas that are close to you, the difference will be more noticeable, Porter said.
Cook in the morning, with a slow cooker or outdoors
The heat from the oven can spread throughout the house. Keep the heat centralized in one zone, like a slow cooker. Or, cook outside on a grill to keep the heat outside.
Enjoy frozen desserts
Eating an ice cream to cool down can give temporary relief. But don’t go overboard with sugar if you’re overheated or at risk of becoming overheated, says Porter.
“Sugar would raise your metabolism and you would start to feel internal heat,” he said. “So a fresh dessert might be good, but extra sugar might not be.”
Find out what your state offers
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t beat the heat at home, you can search the Internet for a local program that offers ductless air conditioners.
Depending on your state, some cooling centers, air-conditioned public facilities that people can go to for relief in very hot weather, may be open and take precautions to ensure they are as safe as possible. You can start by checking with your local utility offices, as they will know who offers certain programs, Porter recommends.
Madeline Holcombe and Holly Yan contributed reporting.