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dog cooling off with fan

Keeping cool in summer doesn’t mean high energy bills due to overburdened AC use. You can supplement your AC by using these 5 tricks.

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Here come the dog days of summer, with visions of barbeques, pool parties, and long, lovely hours at the beach on our minds. Of course, summer heat isn’t always welcome, especially if you’re trying to survive the hot days and nights without adding to the mounting cost of running the A/C.

Whether you’re trying to cut energy costs, be kind to the environment, or live in a home without central air, there are plenty of ways to stay cool this summer. Check out these five ways to get your chill on when the A/C is off.

1. Try nifty fan tricks

You can get a lot more from your fans than just blowing around tepid air. Put box fans in your windows; face them inward in the morning and evening to pull in cool breezes and outward in the afternoon to push out hot air.

Make your own DIY mini-A/C unit by putting a shallow pan full of ice cubes in front of a table fan, and letting it blow the cooled air in your direction. And don’t forget to adjust the blades on your ceiling fan to rotate counter clockwise, sucking the warm air toward the ceiling.

2. Power down

Turn off lights and scrimp on appliance use during the day. Don’t run the dishwasher, washer, or dryer when the sun is out. You can, however, hang clothes to air dry in your home during the day; your damp clothes can actually cool the air when it’s hot outside.

Use your microwave to prepare food, or just grill outdoors. And don’t use obvious heat generators such as blow dryers and desktop computers if you can avoid it.

3. Make yourself some “chill pillows”

What can you make with a clean cotton sock, a freezer, and a bag of rice? Your very own personal chill pillow you can stick in your bed to keep you cool at night. Simple pour uncooked rice into a clean sock, tie it off, place it in a plastic bag to prevent freezer odors, and chill for an hour or two.

Place your chill pillows in strategic places on your mattress or next to your body for an instant cool down. Even easier? Wrap reusable freezer packs in a cotton pillowcase.

4. Use water to stay cool

Cool off an entire room by hanging a damp sheet over a window. Try sleeping the Egyptian way: Cover yourself with a sheet moistened with cool water when you go to bed. Put a dry towel beneath your fitted sheet to keep your mattress dry.

Take a cold shower when you’re feeling particularly wilted, and before you go to bed. Rub ice on your pulse points (wrists, temples, back of neck, inner elbow) for an instant blast of chill.

5. Keep things loose

Wear loose, breathable clothing and avoid anything tight when the temperature rises. Try wearing a damp, oversized T-shirt if you’re just lounging at home during the day. Stick to cotton and natural fabrics, and don’t be afraid to sleep au naturel.

Don’t let the heat beat you

Don’t get beat by summer heat, even if you don’t use A/C. And don’t be shocked by energy use bills due to constant AC use even if you do have it. These five tips will keep you cool as a cucumber all summer long.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.